American Chemical Society
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Surface Charge Density Gradient Printing To Drive Droplet Transport: A Numerical Study

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posted on 2022-11-01, 11:39 authored by Fangxin Wang, Fuzheng Guo, Zhenqing Wang, Hailing He, Yun Sun, Wenyan Liang, Bin Yang
Traditional strategies, such as morphological or chemical gradients, struggle to realize the high-velocity and long-distance transport for droplets on a solid surface because of the pinning hydrodynamic equilibrium. Thus, there is a continuing challenge for practical technology to drive droplet transport over the last decades. The surface charge density (SCD) gradient printing method overcame the theoretical limit of traditional strategies and tackled this challenge [Nat. Mater. 2019, 18: 936], which utilized the asymmetric electric force to realize the high-velocity and long-distance droplet transport along a preprinted SCD gradient pathway. In the present work, by coupling the electrostatics and the hydrodynamics, we developed an unexplored numerical model for the water droplet transporting along the charged superhydrophobic surface. Subsequently, the effects of SCD gradients on the droplet transport were systematically discussed, and an optimized method for SCD gradient printing was proposed according to the numerical results. The present approach can provide early guidance for the SCD gradient printing to drive droplet transport on a solid surface.