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Droplet Coalescence by Selective Wettability Enhancement in Microfluidic Devices

by Nahla Alamoodi 1,* and Anas Alazzam 2,*
1
Research and Innovation Center on CO2 and H2 (RICH), Center of Catalysis and Separation (CeCaS), Chemical Engineering Department, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, Abu Dhabi 127788, UAE
2
System on Chip Center, Mechanical Engineering Department, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, Abu Dhabi 127788, UAE
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nanomaterials 2020, 10(4), 737; https://doi.org/10.3390/nano10040737
Received: 12 March 2020 / Revised: 6 April 2020 / Accepted: 8 April 2020 / Published: 12 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanopatterned Functional Materials)
A new approach for droplet coalescence in microfluidic channels based on selective surface energy alteration is demonstrated. The proposed method involves patterning the surface of cyclic olefin copolymer (COC), a hydrophobic substrate attached to a polydimethylsiloxane hydrophobic microchannel, with graphene oxide (GO) using standard microfabrication techniques. Surface wettability and adhesion analyses confirmed the enhancement of the COC surface energy upon GO patterning and the stability of the GO film on COC. Three representative cases are illustrated to demonstrate the effectiveness of the method on the coalescence of droplets for different droplet flow regimes, as well as the effect of changing the size of the patterned surface area on the fusion process. The method achieves droplet coalescence without the need for precise synchronization. View Full-Text
Keywords: graphene oxide; wettability patterning; coalescence; microfluidics; patterned surface energy; microfabrication graphene oxide; wettability patterning; coalescence; microfluidics; patterned surface energy; microfabrication
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MDPI and ACS Style

Alamoodi, N.; Alazzam, A. Droplet Coalescence by Selective Wettability Enhancement in Microfluidic Devices. Nanomaterials 2020, 10, 737.

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