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Topography-induced symmetry transition of droplets on quasi-periodically patterned surfaces

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Abstract

Quasi-periodic structures of quasicrystals yield novel effects in diverse systems. However, there is little investigation on employing quasi-periodic structures in morphology control. Here, we show the use of quasi-periodic surface structures in controlling the transition of liquid droplets. Although surface structures seem random-like, we find that on these surfaces, droplets spread to well-defined 5-fold symmetric shapes and the symmetry of droplet shapes spontaneously restores during spreading, hitherto unreported in the morphology control of droplets. To obtain physical insights into these symmetry transitions, we conduct energy analysis and perform systematic experiments by varying the properties of both liquid droplets and patterned surfaces. The results show the dominant factors in determining droplet shapes to be surface topography and the self-similarity of the surface structure. Quantified results of the droplet spreading process show distinct dynamics from the spreading experiments on periodically micropatterned surfaces. Our findings significantly advance the control capability of the droplet morphology. Such a quasi-periodic patterning strategy can offer a new method to achieve complex patterns, and may be used to model patterns in the study of rough surfaces.

Graphical abstract: Topography-induced symmetry transition of droplets on quasi-periodically patterned surfaces

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Publication details

The article was received on 21 Mar 2018, accepted on 03 May 2018 and first published on 07 May 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8SM00591E
Citation: Soft Matter, 2018, Advance Article
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    Topography-induced symmetry transition of droplets on quasi-periodically patterned surfaces

    E. Chen, Q. Yuan and Y. Zhao, Soft Matter, 2018, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8SM00591E

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