Drop transport and positioning on lubricant-impregnated surfaces

Jian Hui Guan, Elfego Ruiz-Gutierrez, Ben Bin Xu, David Wood, Glen McHale, Rodrigo Ledesma-Aguilar, Gary George Wells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We demonstrate the transport and positioning of water droplets on macro-patterned lubricant-impregnated surfaces. The macro-patterning produces menisci features in the impregnating liquid layer which interact with a droplet via a capillary mechanism similar to the Cheerios effect. These interactions control the droplet motion and positioning on an otherwise completely slippery surface. We present experimental results using a V-shape channel geometry as a model system. The interaction between deformations on the lubricant layer induced by the droplet and the underlying V-shape geometry leads to both local and global equilibrium positions for the droplet within the channel. We present a mathematical model to quantify the transition from local equilibrium states to the global equilibrium state and show that the latter can be described on the basis of a force balance along the apparent contact line of the droplet. We highlight possible applications where lubricated macro-patterned surfaces can be used to control the motion and localisation of droplets.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3404-3410
Number of pages7
JournalSoft Matter
Volume13
Issue number18
Early online date11 Apr 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 May 2017

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