Three-dimensional capillary ratchet-induced liquid directional steering

Shile Feng, Pingan Zhu, Huanxi Zheng, Haiyang Zhan, Chen Chen, Jiaqian Li, Liqiu Wang, Xi Yao, Yahua Liu, Zuankai Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

217 Citations (Scopus)


Conventional understanding has it that a liquid deposited on a surface tends to move along directions that reduce surface energy, which is mainly dictated by surface properties rather than liquid properties such as surface tension. Achieving well-controlled directional steering remains challenging because the liquid-solid interaction mainly occurs in the two-dimensional (2D) domain. We show that the spreading direction of liquids with different surface tensions can be tailored by designing 3D capillary ratchets that create an asymmetric and 3D spreading profile both in and out of the surface plane. Suc directional steering is also accompanied by self-propulsion and high flow velocity, all of which are preferred in liquid transport.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1344-1348
Number of pages5
Issue number6561
Publication statusPublished - 17 Sept 2021
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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