24_12/2012Microfluidics: Controlling Liquid Drops with Texture Ratchets (Adv. Mater. 12/2012)

Controlled vibration selectively propels multiple microliter-sized drops along texture ratchets: microstructured tracks that rectify oscillations of the three-phase contact line into asymmetric pinning forces that propel each drop in the direction of higher pinning, as investigated by K. F. Böhringer and co-workers on page 1545. This superimposed time-lapse image depicts two pairs of 5 μL dyed water drops traveling and finally merging simultaneously on regular and upside-down texture ratchets molded in polydimethylsiloxane elastomer.

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