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Nonmonotonic contactless manipulation of binary droplets via sensing of localized vapor sources on pristine substrates

Malinowski, R; Parkin, IP; Volpe, G; (2020) Nonmonotonic contactless manipulation of binary droplets via sensing of localized vapor sources on pristine substrates. Science Advances , 6 (40) 10.1126/sciadv.aba3636. Green open access

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Abstract

Droplet motion on surfaces influences phenomena as diverse as microfluidic liquid handling, printing technology, and energy harvesting. Typically, droplets are set in motion by inducing energy gradients on a substrate or flow on their free surface. Current configurations for controllable droplet manipulation have limited applicability as they rely on carefully tailored wettability gradients and/or bespoke substrates. Here, we demonstrate the nonmonotonic contactless long-range manipulation of binary droplets on pristine substrates due to the sensing of localized water vapor sources. The droplet-source system presents an unexpected off-centered equilibrium position. We capture the underlying mechanism behind this symmetry breaking with a simplified model based on the full two-dimensional functional form of the surface tension gradient induced by the source on the droplet's free surface. This insight on the transport mechanism enables us to demonstrate its versatility for applications by printing, aligning, and reacting materials controllably in space and time on pristine substrates.

Type: Article
Title: Nonmonotonic contactless manipulation of binary droplets via sensing of localized vapor sources on pristine substrates
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aba3636
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aba3636
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2020 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S.Government Works. Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (CC BY).
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Chemistry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10111849
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