Wettability-gradient-driven micropump for transporting discrete liquid drops

Hamzeh K. Bardaweel, Konstantin Zamuruyev, Jean Pierre Delplanque, Cristina E Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In this paper, we report our efforts toward building a microelectromechanical system-based micropump. The micropump is driven by a wettability gradient and used to transport discrete drops. The gradient in wettability is distributed axisymmetrically, with hydrophobicity of the micropump surface decreasing radially toward the center. Both physical and chemical properties of the surface are altered to obtain the wettability gradient needed for driving the drops. The surface of the micropump is, first, patterned with pre-designed micro-features that define the roughness of the surface and, then, coated with a low-energy interface film. Results show that drops deposited on the surface of the micropump move, in a directional way, along the wettability gradient. The average velocity of the deposited drops is 5 mm s-1. Measured contact angles decrease gradually from 157.0° to 124.2° toward the center of the micropump surface. Maximum driving force exerted by the solid surface on the drops is 12.82 μN. The average size of the drops transported on the surface of the micropump is 2 μL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number035036
JournalJournal of Micromechanics and Microengineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials


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