Voltage-induced spreading and superspreading of liquids

McHale, Glen, Brown, Carl and Sampara, Naresh (2013) Voltage-induced spreading and superspreading of liquids. Nature Communications, 4. p. 1605. ISSN 2041-1723

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms2619


The ability to quickly spread a liquid across a surface and form a film is fundamental for a diverse range of technological processes, including printing, painting and spraying. We show that liquid dielectrophoresis or electrowetting can produce wetting on normally non-wetting surfaces, without needing modification of the surface topography or chemistry. Additionally, super-spreading can be achieved without needing surfactants in the liquid. We use a modified Hoffman-de Gennes law to predict three distinct spreading regimes: (i) exponential approach to an equilibrium shape, (ii) spreading to complete wetting obeying a Tanner’s law-type relationship, and (iii) superspreading towards a complete wetting film. We demonstrate quantitative experimental agreement with these predictions using dielectrophoresis induced spreading of stripes of 1,2 propylene glycol. Our findings show how the rate of spreading of a partial wetting system can be controlled using uniform and non-uniform electric fields and how to induce more rapid super-spreading using voltage control.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Editorials changes were made to the attached full text document before publication; the final published version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms2619.
Uncontrolled Keywords: superspreading, dielectrowetting, electrowetting, contact angle, wetting
Subjects: F100 Chemistry
F200 Materials Science
F300 Physics
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering
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Depositing User: Glen McHale
Date Deposited: 02 Jan 2014 11:35
Last Modified: 17 Dec 2023 14:48
URI: https://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/14936

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