Low friction self-centering droplet propulsion and transport using a Leidenfrost herringbone-ratchet structure

Dodd, Linzi, Agrawal, Prashant, Parnell, Matthew, Geraldi, Nicasio, Xu, Bin, Wells, Gary, Stuart-Cole, Simone, Newton, Michael, McHale, Glen and Wood, David (2019) Low friction self-centering droplet propulsion and transport using a Leidenfrost herringbone-ratchet structure. Physical Review Applied, 11 (3). 034063. ISSN 2331-7019

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1103/physrevapplied.11.034063


A fundamental limitation to the ability to transport sessile droplets is frictional forces arising from surface adhesion. This can be overcome by using the Leidenfrost effect on a heated substrate to levitate the droplet on a cushion of vapor. By structuring the surface under the droplet, the low of vapor below the droplet can be controlled and this can be used to induce preferential droplet propulsion in a particular direction. However, whilst propulsion can be induced the dramatic reduction in frictional forces leads to instability and it is difficult to control droplet motion when transporting droplets along a defined path. Here we present a self-propulsion and self-centering concept using the principles of negative-feedback to enable a droplet to be transported along a defined path. In our implementation, we used a combined herringbone and ratchet design, which provides the ability to control droplet position without compromising on speed. This intrinsic self-centering and correction via negative feedback offers the potential to design paths and tracks for droplets to follow, without the need for walls.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: F300 Physics
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2019 09:39
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 18:51
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/37876

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