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Magnetic-Actuated Robot Enables High-Performance Underwater Bubble Maneuvering on Laser-Textured Biomimetic Slippery Surfaces

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posted on 04.02.2022, 21:30 authored by Chao Chen, Hao Yao, Yunlong Jiao, Chong Jia, Sizhu Wu
Controllable underwater gas bubble (UGB) transport on a surface is realized by geography-/stimuli-induced wettability gradient force (Fwet‑grad). Unfortunately, the high-speed maneuvering of UGBs along free routes on planar surfaces remains challenging. Herein, a regime of magnetism-actuated robot (MAR) mounting on biomimetic laser-ablated lubricant-impregnated slippery surfaces (LA-LISS) is reported. Leveraging on LA-LISS, MAR-entrained UGBs can move along arbitrary directions through the loading of a tracing magnetic trigger. The underlying hydrodynamics is that MAR-entrained UGBs would be actuated slipping upon a giant magnetic-induced towing force (FM//). Once the magnetism stimuli is discharged, FM// vanishes immediately to immobilize the UGBs on LA-LISS. Thanks to the MAR’s robust bubble affinity, a typical UGB (20 μL) on the optimized LA-LISS can be accelerated at 500 mm/s2 and gain an ultrafast velocity of over 205 mm/s that far exceeds previously reported figures. Moreover, fundamental physics renders MAR antibuoyancy, steering locomotive UGBs on the inclined LA-LISS. Significantly, an MAR propelling UGBs to configure desirable patterns, realize on-demand coalescence, remedy the cutoff switch, as well as facilitate a programmable light-control-light optical shutter is successfully deployed. Compared with previous smart surfaces, the current multifunctional regime is more competent for harnessing UGBs featuring an unparalleled transport velocity independent of the feeble Fwet‑grad.