Droplet actuation induced by coalescence: Experimental evidences and phenomenological modeling
This paper considers the interaction between two droplets placed on a substrate in immediate vicinity. We show here that when the two droplets are of different fluids and especially when one of the droplet is highly volatile, a wealth of fascinating phenomena can be observed. In particular, the interaction may result in the actuation of the droplet system, i.e. its displacement over a finite length. In order to control this displacement, we consider droplets confined on a hydrophilic stripe created by plasma-treating a PDMS substrate. This controlled actuation opens up unexplored opportunities in the field of microfluidics. In order to explain the observed actuation phenomenon, we propose a simple phenomenological model based on Newton’s second law and a simple balance between the driving force arising from surface energy gradients and the viscous resistive force. This simple model is able to reproduce qualitatively and quantitatively the observed droplet dynamics.
KeywordsPDMS Water Droplet European Physical Journal Special Topic Contact Line Droplet Velocity
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