Topological liquid diode

Jiaqian Li, Xiaofeng Zhou, Jing Li, Lufeng Che, Jun Yao, Glen McHale, Manoj K. Chaudhury, Zuankai Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

204 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The last two decades have witnessed an explosion of interest in the field of droplet-based microfluidics for their multifarious applications. Despite rapid innovations in strategies to generate small-scale liquid transport on these devices, the speed of motion is usually slow, the transport distance is limited, and the flow direction is not well controlled because of unwanted pinning of contact lines by defects on the surface. We report a new method of microscopic liquid transport based on a unique topological structure. This method breaks the contact line pinning through efficient conversion of excess surface energy to kinetic energy at the advancing edge of the droplet while simultaneously arresting the reverse motion of the droplet via strong pinning. This results in a novel topological fluid diode that allows for a rapid, directional, and long-distance transport of virtually any kind of liquid without the need for an external energy input.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbereaao3530
JournalScience advances
Volume3
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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