Visible light guided manipulation of liquid wettability on photoresponsive surfaces
Author(s)Gondal, Mohammed A.; Kwon, Gibum; Panchanathan, Divya; Mahmoudi, Seyed Reza; McKinley, Gareth H; Varanasi, Kripa; ... Show more Show less
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Photoresponsive titania surfaces are of great interest due to their unique wettability change upon ultraviolet light illumination. However, their applications are often limited either by the inability to respond to visible light or the need for special treatment to recover the original wettability. Sensitizing TiO₂ surfaces with visible light-absorbing materials has been utilized in photovoltaic applications. Here we demonstrate that a dye-sensitized TiO₂ surface can selectively change the wettability towards contacting liquids upon visible light illumination due to a photo-induced voltage across the liquid and the underlying surface. The photo-induced wettability change of our surfaces enables external manipulation of liquid droplet motion upon illumination. We show demulsification of surfactant-stabilized brine-in-oil emulsions via coalescence of brine droplets on our dye-sensitized TiO₂ surface upon visible light illumination. We anticipate that our surfaces will have a wide range of applications including microfluidic devices with customizable wettability, solar-driven oil–water clean-up and demulsification technologies.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering
Nature Publishing Group
Kwon, Gibum; Panchanathan, Divya; Mahmoudi, Seyed Reza; Gondal, Mohammed A.; McKinley, Gareth H. and Varanasi, Kripa K. “Visible Light Guided Manipulation of Liquid Wettability on Photoresponsive Surfaces.” Nature Communications 8 (April 2017): 14968 © 2017 The Author(s)
Final published version