Silicon nanowire and polyethylene superhydrophobic surfaces for discrete magnetic microfluidics

Ana Egatz-Gómez, John Schneider, P. Aella, Dongqing Yang, P. Domínguez-García, Solitaire Lindsay, S. T. Picraux, Miguel A. Rubio, Sonia Melle, Manuel Marquez, Antonio Garcia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


A microfluidic method to manipulate small drops of water is studied on two different superhydrophobic surfaces. Using this digital magnetofluidic method, water drops containing paramagnetic carbonyl-iron microparticles were displaced on silicon nanowire (Si NW) and low-density polyethylene (LDPE) superhydrophobic surfaces using magnetic fields. Horizontal, vertical, or upside-down drop movement is made possible by the action of capillary forces induced by paramagnetic particles aligning and following a magnetic field, indicating that three-dimensional digital microfluidics is possible. Also, both Si NW and LDPE superhydrophobic surfaces combine surface chemistry with nano and microscale surface roughness to make drop movement possible. Si NW superhydrophobic surfaces were prepared using vapor-liquid-solid growth systems followed by coating with a perfluorinated hydrocarbon. LDPE superhydrophobic surfaces were prepared by growing polyethylene crystals on a polyethylene substrate through careful rate control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)330-334
Number of pages5
JournalApplied Surface Science
Issue number1 SPEC. ISS.
StatePublished - Oct 31 2007


  • LDPE
  • Magnetofluidic
  • Microfluidic
  • Polyethylene
  • Silicon nanowire

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Surfaces and Interfaces


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