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Issue 16, 2017
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Smart design of wettability-patterned gradients on substrate-independent coated surfaces to control unidirectional spreading of droplets

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Abstract

Highly adherent wettability patterns on the substrate-independent superhydrophobic surfaces of trimethoxyoctadecylsilane modified titanium dioxide (TiO2)-based coatings were prepared by using commercial photolithography. Three custom unidirectional channels with gradient wettability patterns were obtained by spatially selective wettability conversion from superhydrophobic to superhydrophilic when the coatings were exposed to ultraviolet light (∼365 nm). The movement behavior of droplets on these unidirectional channels was studied and the displacement of droplet movement was effectively controlled. Integrating the idea of gradient wettability patterns into planar microfluidic devices (microreactors), a self-driven fluid transport was achieved to realize droplet metering, merging or reaction, and rapid transport. This self-driven fluid transport with gradient wettability patterns has great potential in fabricating a new category of pump-free microfluidic systems that can be used in various conditions.

Graphical abstract: Smart design of wettability-patterned gradients on substrate-independent coated surfaces to control unidirectional spreading of droplets

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Article information


Submitted
23 des. 2016
Accepted
23 mar. 2017
First published
24 mar. 2017

Soft Matter, 2017,13, 2995-3002
Article type
Paper

Smart design of wettability-patterned gradients on substrate-independent coated surfaces to control unidirectional spreading of droplets

H. Wu, K. Zhu, B. Cao, Z. Zhang, B. Wu, L. Liang, G. Chai and A. Liu, Soft Matter, 2017, 13, 2995
DOI: 10.1039/C6SM02864K

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