Planar Selective Leidenfrost Propulsion Without Physically Structured Substrates or Walls

Dodd, Linzi, Agrawal, Prashant, Geraldi, Nicasio, Xu, Bin, Wells, Gary, Newton, Michael I., McHale, Glen and Wood, David (2020) Planar Selective Leidenfrost Propulsion Without Physically Structured Substrates or Walls. Applied Physics Letters, 117 (8). 081601. ISSN 0003-6951

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The Leidenfrost effect allows droplets to be transported on a virtually frictionless layer of vapor above a superheated substrate. The substrates are normally topographically structured using subtractive techniques to produce saw-tooth, herringbone and other patterns and bulk heated, leading to significant challenges in energy consumption and controlled operation. Here, we propose a planar lithographic approach, to levitate and propel droplets using temperature profiles, which can be spatially patterned and controlled in time. We show micro-patterned electrodes can be heated and provide control of the pressure profile and the vapor flow. Using these almost featureless planar substrates we achieve self-directed motion of droplets, with velocities of approximately 30 mm/s, without topographically structuring the substrate or introducing physical walls. Our approach has the potential to be integrated into applications, such as digital microfluidics, where frictionless and contactless droplet transport may be advantageous.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: The authors are grateful to EPSRC for funding under Grant Nos. EP/L026899/1, EP/L026619/1, and EP/L026341/1.
Subjects: F200 Materials Science
F300 Physics
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 18 Aug 2020 08:47
Last Modified: 13 Aug 2021 15:13

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