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Magnetic-Actuated Jumping of Droplets on Superhydrophobic Grooved Surfaces: A Versatile Strategy for Three-Dimensional Droplet Transportation

  • Yusheng Huang
    Yusheng Huang
    School of Materials Science and Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Materials and Technologies, Key Laboratory for Polymeric Composite and Functional Materials of Ministry of Education, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510006, China
  • Guifeng Wen
    Guifeng Wen
    School of Materials Science and Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Materials and Technologies, Key Laboratory for Polymeric Composite and Functional Materials of Ministry of Education, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510006, China
    More by Guifeng Wen
  • Yue Fan
    Yue Fan
    School of Materials Science and Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Materials and Technologies, Key Laboratory for Polymeric Composite and Functional Materials of Ministry of Education, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510006, China
    More by Yue Fan
  • Maomao He
    Maomao He
    State Key Laboratory of Fine Chemicals, Frontiers Science Center for Smart Materials Oriented Chemical Engineering, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116024, China
    More by Maomao He
  • Wen Sun
    Wen Sun
    State Key Laboratory of Fine Chemicals, Frontiers Science Center for Smart Materials Oriented Chemical Engineering, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116024, China
    More by Wen Sun
  • Xuelin Tian
    Xuelin Tian
    School of Materials Science and Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Materials and Technologies, Key Laboratory for Polymeric Composite and Functional Materials of Ministry of Education, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510006, China
    More by Xuelin Tian
  • , and 
  • Shilin Huang*
    Shilin Huang
    School of Materials Science and Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Materials and Technologies, Key Laboratory for Polymeric Composite and Functional Materials of Ministry of Education, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510006, China
    *E-mail: [email protected]
    More by Shilin Huang
Cite this: ACS Nano 2024, 18, 8, 6359–6372
Publication Date (Web):February 16, 2024
https://doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.3c11197
Copyright © 2024 American Chemical Society

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    Abstract

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    On-demand droplet transportation is of great significance for numerous applications. Although various strategies have been developed for droplet transportation, out-of-surface three-dimensional (3D) transportation of droplets remains challenging. Here, a versatile droplet transportation strategy based on magnetic-actuated jumping (MAJ) of droplets on superhydrophobic grooved surfaces (SHGSs) is presented, which enables 3D, remote, and precise manipulation of droplets even in enclosed narrow spaces. To trigger MAJ, an electromagnetic field is utilized to deform the droplet on the SHGS with the aid of an attached magnetic particle, thereby the droplet acquires excess surface energy. When the electromagnetic field is quickly removed, the excess surface energy is partly converted into kinetic energy, allowing the droplet to jump atop the surface. Through high-speed imaging and numerical simulation, the working mechanism and size matching effect of MAJ are unveiled. It is found that the MAJ behavior can only be observed if the sizes of the droplets and the superhydrophobic grooves are matched, otherwise unwanted entrapment or pinch-off effects would lead to failure of MAJ. A regime diagram which serves as a guideline to design SHGSs for MAJ is proposed. The droplet transportation capacities of MAJ, including in-surface and out-of-surface directional transportation, climbing stairs, and crossing obstacles, are also demonstrated. With the ability to remotely manipulate droplets in enclosed narrow spaces without using any mechanical moving parts, MAJ can be used to design miniaturized fluidic platforms, which exhibit great potential for applications in bioassays, microfluidics, droplet-based switches, and microreactions.

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    The Supporting Information is available free of charge at https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsnano.3c11197.

    • Additional discussions; additional experimental methods; SEM images and contact angles of water on the 3D-printed planar surfaces with different surface coatings; water droplets suspending on the SHGS; the method used to determine the water advancing and receding contact angles on the MPs; magnetic field around the electromagnet (EM); construction of the transparent SHGS; image analysis to obtain the volume and liquid–vapor interface area of the deformed droplet on the SHGS; force analysis for the deformed droplet on the SHGS; exploring the maximal driving force for droplet jumping; shape oscillation of the droplet during jumping; equilibrium shapes of the droplets with different volumes in contact with the MP; determination of the excess surface energy based on the areas of liquid–vapor and solid–liquid interfaces; determination of the critical volume below which the droplet is entrapped in the superhydrophobic groove; the pinch-off phenomenon observed in the experiment; influence of groove width on the MAJ behavior; influences of groove width and depth on the theoretical jumping height; influences of the MP size on the regime diagram for MAJ and the theoretical jumping height; influence of groove shape on the MAJ behavior; influence of surface hydrophilicity of the MPs on the MAJ behavior; schematic illustration showing the removal of MPs from the manipulated droplets after arriving at the destinations using electromagnetic fields; transportation of multiple droplets at the same time using MAJ; droplet jumping on chamfered SHGS; images showing the experimental setups for droplet climbing stairs and crossing obstacles (PDF)

    • Movie S1. Directional transportation of a droplet on the SHGS with circularly arrayed chamfered grooves using MAJ (MP4)

    • Movie S2. A droplet with an attached MP climbing the stairs based on MAJ (MP4)

    • Movie S3. A droplet with an attached MP crossing obstacles using MAJ (MP4)

    • Movie S4. Using MAJ to remotely add reactants for the microreaction (MP4)

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