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Issue 39, 2013
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Photo-controlled water gathering on bio-inspired fibers

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We report photo-controlled water gathering on bio-inspired fibers. We have designed a bio-inspired fiber using azobenzene (Azo) polymer materials, with roughness and a curvature similar to the spindle-knots of wetted spider silk. We demonstrate that the cooperation between roughness and curvature and the photo-responsive wettability play a key role in water gathering after Vis or UV irradiation, which regulate effectively the separation of water droplets away from the spindle-knots or the coalescence towards the spindle-knots, respectively. This study offers an insight into the design of novel gradient surfaces that may drive tiny droplets to move in as-desired directions, which could potentially be extended to the realms of fluid-control in micro-scale engines, sub-micron masks, heat transfer, water-collecting devices and systems.

Graphical abstract: Photo-controlled water gathering on bio-inspired fibers

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The article was received on 31 May 2013, accepted on 31 Jul 2013 and first published on 13 Aug 2013

Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM51517F
Soft Matter, 2013,9, 9294-9297

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    Photo-controlled water gathering on bio-inspired fibers

    S. Feng, Y. Hou, Y. Xue, L. Gao, L. Jiang and Y. Zheng, Soft Matter, 2013, 9, 9294
    DOI: 10.1039/C3SM51517F

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