Droplet Motion on a Shape Gradient Surface

We demonstrate a facile method to induce water droplet motion on an wedge-shaped superhydrophobic copper surface combining with a poly­(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) oil layer on it. The unbalanced interfacial tension from the shape gradient offers the actuating force. The superhydrophobicity critically eliminates the droplet contact line pinning and the slippery PDMS oil layer lubricates the droplet motion, which makes the droplet move easily. The maximum velocity and furthest position of droplet motion were recorded and found to be influenced by the gradient angle. The mechanism of droplet motion on the shape gradient surface is systematically discussed, and the theoretical model analysis is well matched with the experimental results.