Droplet motion on contrasting striated surfaces

Hongyu Zhao, Daniel Orejon, Coinneach Mackenzie-Dover, Prashant Valluri, Martin E.R. Shanahan, Khellil Sefiane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Liquid droplets move readily under the influence of surface tension gradients on their substrates. Substrates decorated with parallel microgrooves, or striations, presenting the advantage of homogeneous chemical properties yet varying the topological characteristics on either side of a straight-line boundary, are considered in this study. The basic type of geometry consists of hydrophobic micro-striations/rails perpendicular to the boundary, with the systematic variation of the width to spacing ratio, thus changing the solid-liquid contact fraction and inducing a well-defined wettability contrast across the boundary. Droplets in the Cassie-Baxter state, straddling the boundary, move along the wettability contrast in order to reduce the overall surface free energy. The results show the importance of the average solid fraction and contrasting fraction in a wide range of given geometries across the boundary on droplet motion. A unified criterion for contrasting striated surfaces, which describes the displacement and the velocity of the droplets, is suggested, providing guidelines for droplet manipulation on micro-striated/railed surfaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number251604
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number25
StatePublished - Jun 22 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge the support of the European Space Agency through ESA Contract No. 4000129506/ 20/NL/PG and the support received from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) through Grant No. EP/P005705/1. The authors also acknowledge the EC-RISE-ThermaSMART project, which received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under Marie Skłodowska-Curie Grant Agreement No. 778104.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Author(s).


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