Voltage-induced spreading and superspreading of liquids

McHale, G., Brown, C.V. ORCID: 0000-0002-1559-3238 and Sampara, N., 2013. Voltage-induced spreading and superspreading of liquids. Nature Communications, 4, p. 1605. ISSN 2041-1723

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The ability to quickly spread a liquid across a surface and form a film is fundamental for a diverse range of technological processes, including printing, painting and spraying. Here we show that liquid dielectrophoresis or electrowetting can produce wetting on normally non- wetting surfaces, without needing modification of the surface topography or chemistry. Additionally, superspreading can be achieved without needing surfactants in the liquid. Here we use a modified Hoffman-de Gennes law to predict three distinct spreading regimes: exponential approach to an equilibrium shape, spreading to complete wetting obeying a Tanner’s law-type relationship and superspreading towards a complete wetting film. We demonstrate quantitative experimental agreement with these predictions using dielectrophoresis-induced spreading of stripes of 1,2 propylene glycol. Our findings show how the rate of spreading of a partial wetting system can be controlled using uniform and non-uniform electric fields and how to induce more rapid superspreading using voltage control.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Nature Communications
Creators: McHale, G., Brown, C.V. and Sampara, N.
Publisher: Nature Pubishing Group
Date: 2013
Volume: 4
ISSN: 2041-1723
Divisions: Schools > School of Science and Technology
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 12 Feb 2016 15:19
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 13:59
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/26955

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