Anisotropic Janus Si nanopillar arrays as a microfluidic one-way valve for gas–liquid separation†
In this paper, we demonstrate a facile strategy for the fabrication of a one-way valve for microfluidic (MF) systems. The micro-valve was fabricated by embedding arrays of Janus Si elliptical pillars (Si-EPAs) with anisotropic wettability into a MF channel fabricated in poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS). Two sides of the Janus pillar are functionalized with molecules with distinct surface energies. The ability of the Janus pillar array to act as a valve was proved by investigating the flow behaviour of water in a T-shaped microchannel at different flow rates and pressures. In addition, the one-way valve was used to achieve gas–liquid separation. We believe that the Janus Si-EPAs modified by specific surface functionalization provide a new strategy to control the flow and motion of fluids in MF channels.