Directional imbibition on a chemically patterned silicon micropillar array†
Directional imbibition of oils (hexadecane, tetradecane, and dodecane) and water is demonstrated on a chemically patterned silicon micropillar array. Four different directional imbibition types are shown: unidirectional, two types of bidirectional and tridirectional imbibition. The surfaces consist of a silicon micropillar array with an overlaid surface chemistry pattern. This configuration leads to anisotropic wetting behaviour into various directions of the advancing meniscus. Due to the free energy landscape obtained, the advancing meniscus gets pinned in some directions (determined by the surface chemistry pattern) while it is free to move to the remaining directions. The conditions for directional imbibition and design criteria for the surfaces are derived and discussed.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Open access articles from Soft Matter