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Thermocapillary actuation of droplets on chemically patterned surfaces by programmable microheater arrays

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4 Author(s)
Darhuber, Anton A. ; Microfluidic Res. & Eng. Lab., Sch. of Eng. & Appl. Sci., Princeton, NJ, USA ; Valentino, Joseph P. ; Troian, Sandra M. ; Wagner, S.

We have designed a microfluidic device for the actuation of liquid droplets or continuous streams on a solid surface by means of integrated microheater arrays. The microheaters provide control of the surface temperature distribution with high spatial resolution. These temperature gradients locally alter the surface tension along droplets and thin films thus propelling the liquid toward the colder regions. In combination with liquophilic and liquophobic chemical surface patterning, this device can be used as a logistic platform for the parallel and automated routing, mixing and reacting of a multitude of liquid samples, including alkanes, poly(ethylene glycol) and water.

Published in:

Microelectromechanical Systems, Journal of  (Volume:12 ,  Issue: 6 )