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Bidirectional Motion of Droplets on Gradient Liquid Infused Surfaces

Sadullah, Muhammad Subkhi; Launay, Gaby; Parle, Jayne; Ledesma-Aguilar, Rodrigo; Gizaw, Yonas; McHale, Glen; Wells, Gary; Kusumaatmaja, Halim

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Muhammad Subkhi Sadullah

Gaby Launay

Jayne Parle

Rodrigo Ledesma-Aguilar

Yonas Gizaw

Glen McHale

Gary Wells


The current paradigm of self-propelled motion of liquid droplets on surfaces with chemical or topographical wetting gradients is always mono-directional. In contrast, here, we demonstrate bidirectional droplet motion, which we realize using liquid infused surfaces with topographical gradients. The deposited droplet can move either toward the denser or the sparser solid fraction area. We rigorously validate the bidirectional phenomenon using various combinations of droplets and lubricants, and different forms of structural/topographical gradients, by employing both lattice Boltzmann simulations and experiments. We also present a simple and physically intuitive analytical theory that explains the origin of the bidirectional motion. The key factor determining the direction of motion is the wettability difference of the droplet on the solid surface and on the lubricant film.


Sadullah, M. S., Launay, G., Parle, J., Ledesma-Aguilar, R., Gizaw, Y., McHale, G., …Kusumaatmaja, H. (2020). Bidirectional Motion of Droplets on Gradient Liquid Infused Surfaces. Communications Physics, 3, Article 166.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 11, 2020
Online Publication Date Sep 21, 2020
Publication Date 2020
Deposit Date Aug 11, 2020
Publicly Available Date Sep 23, 2020
Journal Communications Physics.
Publisher Nature Research
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 3
Article Number 166
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