Finger directed surface charges for local droplet motion†
Water droplets are expected to be employed as animated soft matter to mimic the behaviours of both nonliving objects and small living organisms. Local water droplet motion has attracted considerable interest and has expanded into various application areas because of its close relationship with processes associated with life. However, few approaches have been capable of independently manipulating local droplet motion without loss on a substrate due to the difficulty in shaping and focusing the motion route. Here, we demonstrate a non-contact electrostatic-powered local water motion strategy. The gradient of electrostatic charges in space guides the local drop motion without liquid loss in a controlled motion path. The local droplet motion on surfaces with varied wettabilities is discussed and compared. A unipolar electrostatic field is theoretically simulated. This work can introduce a finger-directed surface charge pattern and local droplet motion as a new variable in many droplet robot schemes and inspire next-generation liquid devices.