Nanoliter deposition on star-shaped hydrophilic–superhydrophobic patterned surfaces†
Nanoliter sized droplet deposition has gained increasing importance in many biomedical, chemical, and microfluidic applications and in materials synthesis. In this paper, we report a simple method for rapid and high-throughput deposition of nanoliter-sized droplets by dragging a larger droplet on star-shaped hydrophilic–superhydrophobic patterned surfaces. Dragging a droplet on the patterned surface causes water to adhere to hydrophilic patterns. As the larger mother droplet detaches from a star-shaped pattern, a small daughter droplet is deposited on the pattern. Star-shaped hydrophilic patterns with a distinct number of spikes are fabricated and investigated. Systematic tests are carried out to study the influence of different process parameters including the volume of a mother droplet, the dragging velocity, the number of spikes and the dragging directions to the deposition process. The results indicate that creating microarrays by dragging large droplets on patterned hydrophilic–superhydrophobic surfaces yield a reliable, cost-efficient, high-accuracy and easily scalable deposition. The volume of the daughter droplet grows with the velocity of the mother droplet and the number of spikes in a pattern, and decreases with the volume of the mother droplet.