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Self-propelled droplet transport on shaped-liquid surfaces

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

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Gaby Launay

Muhammad Subkhi Sadullah

Glen McHale

Rodrigo Ledesma-Aguilar

Gary G. Wells


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.


Launay, G., Sadullah, M. S., McHale, G., Ledesma-Aguilar, R., Kusumaatmaja, H., & Wells, G. G. (2020). Self-propelled droplet transport on shaped-liquid surfaces. Scientific Reports, 10(14987), Article 14987.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jun 24, 2020
Online Publication Date Sep 11, 2020
Publication Date Sep 11, 2020
Deposit Date Sep 23, 2020
Publicly Available Date Sep 23, 2020
Journal Scientific Reports
Publisher Nature Research
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Issue 14987
Article Number 14987
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