Easy route to superhydrophobic copper-based wire-guided droplet microfluidic systems.

, , and . ACS Nano 3 (9): 2647--2652 (September 2009)


Droplet-based microfluidic systems are an expansion of the lab on a chip concept toward flexible, reconfigurable setups based on the modification and analysis of individual droplets. Superhydrophobic surfaces are one suitable candidate for the realization of droplet-based microfluidic systems as the high mobility of aqueous liquids on such surfaces offers possibilities to use novel or more efficient approaches to droplet movement. Here, copper-based superhydrophobic surfaces were produced either by the etching of polycrystalline copper samples along the grain boundaries using etchants common in the microelectronics industry, by electrodeposition of copper films with subsequent nanowire decoration based on thermal oxidization, or by a combination of both. The surfaces could be easily hydrophobized with thiol-modified fluorocarbons, after which the produced surfaces showed a water contact angle as high as 171 degrees +/- 2 degrees . As copper was chosen as the base material, established patterning techniques adopted from printed circuit board fabrication could be used to fabricate macrostructures on the surfaces with the intention to confine the droplets and, thus, to reduce the system's sensitivity to tilting and vibrations. A simple droplet-based microfluidic chip with inlets, outlets, sample storage, and mixing areas was produced. Wire guidance, a relatively new actuation method applicable to aqueous liquids on superhydrophobic surfaces, was applied to move the droplets.

Links and resources

BibTeX key:
search on:

Comments and Reviews  

There is no review or comment yet. You can write one!


Cite this publication