Researchers of Aalto University have developed surfaces where oil transports itself to desired directions.
Researchers’ oleophobic surfaces are microtextured with radial arrays of undercut stripes. When oil drops fall on these surfaces, drops move away from the landing point to the direction set by asymmetric geometrical patterning of the surface. The surfaces open new avenues for power-free liquid transportation and oil contamination self-removal applications in analytical and fluidic devices.
– We developed surfaces that are able to move liquid oil droplets by surface tension forces. Droplets from anywhere within the pattern will spontaneously move to the center of the pattern, tells Postdoctoral Researcher Ville Jokinen.
– Although surface engineering facilitates effective liquid manipulation and enables water droplet self-transportation on synthetic surfaces, self-transportation of oil droplets posed a major challenge because of their low surfacetension, explains Postdoctoral Researcher Xuelin Tian.