Directed transport of polymer drops on vibrating superhydrophobic substrates: a molecular dynamics study†
Using molecular dynamics simulations of a coarse-grained polymer liquid we investigate the transport of droplets on asymmetrically structured (saw-tooth shaped), vibrating substrates. Due to a continuous supply of power by substrate vibrations and the asymmetry of its topography, the droplets are driven in a preferred direction. We study this directed motion as a function of the size of the droplets, the linear dimensions of the substrate corrugation, and the period of vibrations. Two mechanisms of driven transport are identified: (i) one that relies on the droplet's contact lines and (ii) in a range of vibration periods, the entire contact area contributes to the driving. In this latter regime, the set-up may be used in experiments for sorting droplets according to their size. Additionally, we show that the linear dimension of the substrate corrugation affects the flux inside the droplet. While on a substrate with a fine corrugation droplets mostly slide, on a more coarsely corrugated substrate the flux may exhibit an additional rotation pattern.