Low friction self-centering droplet propulsion and transport using a Leidenfrost herringbone-ratchet structure

Linzi E. Dodd, Prashant Agrawal, Matthew Parnell, Nicasio Geraldi, Ben B. Xu, Gary Wells, Simone Stuart-Cole, Michael I. Newton, Glen McHale, David Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

A fundamental limitation to the ability to transport sessile droplets is frictional forces arising from surface adhesion. This can be overcome by using the Leidenfrost effect on a heated substrate to levitate the droplet on a cushion of vapor. By structuring the surface under the droplet, the flow of vapor below the droplet can be controlled and this can be used to induce preferential droplet propulsion in a particular direction. However, while propulsion can be induced, the dramatic reduction in frictional forces leads to instability and it is difficult to control droplet motion when transporting droplets along a defined path. Here, we present a self-propulsion and self-centering concept using the principles of negative feedback to enable a droplet to be transported along a defined path. In our implementation, we use a combined herringbone and ratchet design, which provides the ability to control droplet position without compromising on speed. This intrinsic self-centering and correction via negative feedback offers the potential to design paths and tracks for droplets to follow, without the need for walls.
Original languageEnglish
Article number034063
JournalPhysical Review Applied
Volume11
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 2019

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Low friction self-centering droplet propulsion and transport using a Leidenfrost herringbone-ratchet structure'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this