Special Issue "Microscale Surface Tension and Its Applications"

A special issue of Micromachines (ISSN 2072-666X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2018

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Pierre Lambert

Université libre de Bruxelles, TIPs CP165/67, Av. F.D. Roosevelt 50, B1050 Bruxelles, Belgium
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +32-(0)2-650-42-44
Interests: Microfluidics; Microengineering; Surface Tension; Mechanical design
Guest Editor
Dr. Massimo Mastrangeli

Electronic Components, Technology and Materials (ECTM), Department of Microelectronics, Delft University of Technology, Building 36, Feldmannweg 17, 2628CT Delft, The Netherlands
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +31-(0)15-27-83835
Interests: Self-assembly; material interfaces; microsystems; nanoparticle-based devices

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Building on advances in miniaturization and soft matter, surface tension effects are a major key to the development of soft/fluidic microrobotics. Benefiting from scaling laws, surface tension and capillary effects can enable sensing, actuation, adhesion, confinement, compliance, and other structural and functional properties necessary in micro- and nanosystems.

Various applications are under development: microfluidic and lab-on-chip devices, soft gripping and manipulation of particles, colloidal and interfacial assemblies, fluidic/droplet mechatronics. The capillary action is ubiquitous in drops, bubbles and menisci, opening a broad spectrum of technological solutions and scientific investigations. Identified grand challenges to the establishment of fluidic microrobotics include mastering the dynamics of capillary effects, controlling the hysteresis arising from wetting and evaporation, improving the dispensing and handling of tiny droplets, and developing a mechatronic approach for the control and programming of surface tension effects. 

In this Special Issue of Micromachines, we invite contributions covering all aspects of microscale engineering relying on surface tension. Particularly, we welcome contributions on fundamentals or applications related to: 

  • Drop-botics: fluidic or surface tension-based micro/nanorobotics: capillary manipulation, gripping, and actuation, sensing, folding, propulsion and bio-inspired solutions;
  • Control of surface tension effects: surface tension gradients, active surfactants, thermocapillarity, electrowetting, elastocapillarity;
  • Handling of droplets, bubbles and liquid bridges: dispensing, confinement, displacement, stretching, rupture, evaporation;
  • Capillary forces: modelling, measurement, simulation;
  • Interfacial engineering: smart liquids, surface treatments;
  • Interfacial fluidic and capillary assembly of colloids and devices;
  • Biological applications of surface tension, including lab-on-chip and organ-on-chip systems.

We expect novel as well as review contributions on all aspects of surface tension-based micro/nanoengineering. In line with Micromachines' policy, we also invite research proposals that introduce ideas for new applications, devices, or technologies. 

Prof. Dr. Pierre Lambert
Dr. Massimo Mastrangeli
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Micromachines is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Surface tension
  • capillarity
  • microsystems and systems-on-chip
  • soft- and microrobotics
  • manipulation and assembly
  • interfaces
  • droplets

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Enabling Droplet Functionality on Anisotropic Ratchet Conveyors
Micromachines 2017, 8(12), 363; doi:10.3390/mi8120363 (registering DOI)
Received: 27 November 2017 / Revised: 11 December 2017 / Accepted: 14 December 2017 / Published: 16 December 2017
PDF Full-text (14102 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Anisotropic ratchet conveyors (ARCs) are a recently developed microfluidic platform that transports liquid droplets through a passive, microfabricated surface pattern and applied orthogonal vibrations. In this work, three new functionalities are presented for controlling droplet transport on the ARC system. These devices can
[...] Read more.
Anisotropic ratchet conveyors (ARCs) are a recently developed microfluidic platform that transports liquid droplets through a passive, microfabricated surface pattern and applied orthogonal vibrations. In this work, three new functionalities are presented for controlling droplet transport on the ARC system. These devices can pause droplet transport (ARC gate), decide between two pathways of droplet transport (ARC switch), and pass droplets between transport tracks (ARC delivery junction). All devices function solely through the modification of pinning forces acting on the transported droplet and are the first reported devices that can selectively control droplet timing and directionality without active (e.g., thermal, electrical, or magnetic) surface components. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microscale Surface Tension and Its Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Laser-Assisted Mist Capillary Self-Alignment
Micromachines 2017, 8(12), 361; doi:10.3390/mi8120361 (registering DOI)
Received: 9 November 2017 / Revised: 6 December 2017 / Accepted: 13 December 2017 / Published: 15 December 2017
PDF Full-text (3990 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This paper reports a method combining laser die transfer and mist capillary self-alignment. The laser die transfer technique is employed to feed selected microchips from a thermal release tape onto a receiving substrate and mist capillary self-alignment is applied to align the microchips
[...] Read more.
This paper reports a method combining laser die transfer and mist capillary self-alignment. The laser die transfer technique is employed to feed selected microchips from a thermal release tape onto a receiving substrate and mist capillary self-alignment is applied to align the microchips to the predefined receptor sites on the substrate in high-accuracy. The parameters for a low-power laser die transfer process have been investigated and experimentally optimized. The acting forces during the mist-induced capillary self-alignment process have been analyzed and the critical volume enabling capillary self-alignment has been estimated theoretically and experimentally. We have demonstrated that microchips can be transferred onto receptor sites in 300–400 ms using a low-power laser (100 mW), and chips can self-align to the corresponding receptor sites in parallel with alignment accuracy of 1.4 ± 0.8 μm. The proposed technique has great potential in high-throughput and high-accuracy assembly of micro devices. This paper is extended from an early conference paper (MARSS 2017). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microscale Surface Tension and Its Applications)
Figures

Figure 1

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