Inverse leidenfrost drop manipulation using menisci†
Drops deposited on an evaporating liquid bath can be maintained in an inverse Leidenfrost state by the vapor emanating from the bath, making them levitate and hover without effective friction. These perfectly non-wetting droplets create a depression in the liquid interface that sustains their weight, which generates repellent forces when they approach a meniscus rising against a wall. Here, we study this reflection in detail, and show that frictionless Leidenfrost drops are a simple and efficient tool to probe the shape of an unknown interface. We then use the menisci to control the motion of the otherwise elusive drops. We create waveguides to direct and accelerate them and use parabolic walls to reflect and focus them. This could be particularly beneficial in the scale up of droplet cryopreservation processes: capillary interactions can be used to transport, gather and collect vitrified biological samples in absence of contact and contamination.