Self-propelled droplet transport on shaped-liquid surfaces

Gaby Launay, Muhammad Subkhi Sadullah, Glen McHale, Rodrigo Ledesma-Aguilar, Halim Kusumaatmaja, Gary G. Wells*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)
36 Downloads (Pure)


The transport of small amounts of liquids on solid surfaces is fundamental for microfluidics applications. Technologies allowing control of droplets of liquid on flat surfaces generally involve the generation of a wettability contrast. This approach is however limited by the resistance to motion caused by the direct contact between the droplet and the solid. We show here that this resistance can be drastically reduced by preventing direct contact with the help of dual-length scale micro-structures and the concept of “liquid-surfaces”. These new surfaces allow the gentle transport of droplets along defined paths and with fine control of their speed. Moreover, their high adhesion permits the capture of impacting droplets, opening new possibilities in applications such as fog harvesting and heat transfer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14987
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Early online date11 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


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