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Title: Dynamic air/liquid pockets for guiding microscale flow

Abstract

Microscale flows of fluids are mainly guided either by solid matrices or by liquid–liquid interfaces. Yet, the solid matrices are plagued with persistent fouling problems, while liquid–liquid interfaces are limited to low-pressure applications. Here we report a dynamic liquid/solid/gas material containing both air and liquid pockets, which are formed by partially infiltrating a porous matrix with a functional liquid. Using detailed theoretical and experimental data, we show that the distribution of the air- and liquid-filled pores is responsive to pressure and enables the formation and instantaneous recovery of stable liquid–liquid interfaces that sustain a wide range of pressures and prevent channel contamination. This adaptive design is demonstrated for polymeric materials and extended to metal-based systems that can achieve unmatched mechanical and thermal stability. Our platform with its unique adaptive pressure and antifouling capabilities may offer potential solutions to flow control in microfluidics, medical devices, microscale synthesis, and biological assays.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [2];  [3];  [3];  [1];  [1];  [1];  [3]
  1. Xiamen Univ. (China)
  2. Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States); McGill Univ., Montreal, QC (Canada)
  3. Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC); National Natural Science Foundation
OSTI Identifier:
1526293
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0005247
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 9; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
42 ENGINEERING

Citation Formats

Hou, Xu, Li, Jianyu, Tesler, Alexander B., Yao, Yuxing, Wang, Miao, Min, Lingli, Sheng, Zhizhi, and Aizenberg, Joanna. Dynamic air/liquid pockets for guiding microscale flow. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1038/s41467-018-03194-z.
Hou, Xu, Li, Jianyu, Tesler, Alexander B., Yao, Yuxing, Wang, Miao, Min, Lingli, Sheng, Zhizhi, & Aizenberg, Joanna. Dynamic air/liquid pockets for guiding microscale flow. United States. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-03194-z
Hou, Xu, Li, Jianyu, Tesler, Alexander B., Yao, Yuxing, Wang, Miao, Min, Lingli, Sheng, Zhizhi, and Aizenberg, Joanna. Wed . "Dynamic air/liquid pockets for guiding microscale flow". United States. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-03194-z. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1526293.
@article{osti_1526293,
title = {Dynamic air/liquid pockets for guiding microscale flow},
author = {Hou, Xu and Li, Jianyu and Tesler, Alexander B. and Yao, Yuxing and Wang, Miao and Min, Lingli and Sheng, Zhizhi and Aizenberg, Joanna},
abstractNote = {Microscale flows of fluids are mainly guided either by solid matrices or by liquid–liquid interfaces. Yet, the solid matrices are plagued with persistent fouling problems, while liquid–liquid interfaces are limited to low-pressure applications. Here we report a dynamic liquid/solid/gas material containing both air and liquid pockets, which are formed by partially infiltrating a porous matrix with a functional liquid. Using detailed theoretical and experimental data, we show that the distribution of the air- and liquid-filled pores is responsive to pressure and enables the formation and instantaneous recovery of stable liquid–liquid interfaces that sustain a wide range of pressures and prevent channel contamination. This adaptive design is demonstrated for polymeric materials and extended to metal-based systems that can achieve unmatched mechanical and thermal stability. Our platform with its unique adaptive pressure and antifouling capabilities may offer potential solutions to flow control in microfluidics, medical devices, microscale synthesis, and biological assays.},
doi = {10.1038/s41467-018-03194-z},
journal = {Nature Communications},
number = 1,
volume = 9,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {2}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
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Cited by: 18 works
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Figures / Tables:

Fig. 1 Fig. 1: Design of the adaptive air/liquid pocket transport system (ADAPTS). a Schematic of ADAPTS, consisting of a porous matrix partially infiltrated with a functional liquid (shown in blue). The distribution of the functional liquid-filled pores (liquid pockets) and air-filled pores (air pockets) changes with the pressure in the airmore » pocket (PA). b ADAPTS guides the microscale flow (shown in red) in the square microchannel (shown in dark blue). The transport liquid initiates a flow path when the applied pressure ($Δ$P) is beyond a threshold pressure (Po) and is confined inside the microchannel under a critical pressure (PL). After removal of the pressure, the functional liquid refills the microchannel, and ADAPTS recovers immediately to the original state. c Diagram showing the two critical pressures (Po, PL) as a function of the channel size D. The operating range of ADAPTS is marked in light green. The inset shows the invasion of the transport liquid into ADAPTS with average pore size $ξ$« less

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