Pumpless Fluid Management on Surfaces: Wettability Patterning and Applications
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Transporting liquid μ-volumes in closed micro channels has been an active area of research for the last few decades and emerged as a new field known as microfluidics. The benefits of microfluidics are widely researched, published and implemented, primarily in the chemical and biological domains. However, confined flows inside closed channels and dependency on auxiliary equipment (pumps, power supplies etc.) limit application primarily to resource-hungry settings (read laboratory or research facilities in developed countries). Novel micro-nano fabrication techniques of functionalizing surfaces to tune liquid-solid interaction (wettability) have reinvigorated a 200-year-old field, capillarity. Nanotechnology enabled us to conduct studies/experiments earlier deemed impossible. This further unlocked several novel liquid dynamics on surfaces. Pumpless liquid handling is one of the areas that have seen increased recent activity. This thesis is a step towards devising pumpless fluid management techniques on surfaces for transport of μ -volume liquids.
Subjectpumpless liquid management, Laplace pressure, microfluidics, wettability patterning, capillarity, surface microfluidics, lab-on-a-chip