Gradient Droplet Arrays by Acceleration-Mode Dip-Coating

Nikolaj K. Mandsberg*, Anna V. Shneidman, Kaare H. Jensen, Rafael Taboryski, Line H. Nielsen, Joanna Aizenberg, Anja Boisen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Droplet microarray technology is of great interest in biology and chemistry as it allows for significant reactant savings and massive parallelization of experiments. Upon scaling down the footprint of each droplet in an array, it becomes increasingly challenging to produce the array drop-by-drop. Therefore, techniques for parallelized droplet production are developed, e.g., dip-coating of biphilic substrates. However, it is in general difficult to tailor the characteristics of individual droplets, such as size and content, without updating the substrate. Here, the method of dip-coating of uniformly patterned biphilic substrates in so-called “acceleration-mode” to produce droplet arrays featuring gradients in droplet height for fixed droplet footprint is developed. The results herein present this method applied to produce drops with base diameters varying over orders of magnitude, from as high as 6 mm to as small as 50 µm; importantly, the experimentally measured power-law-dependency of volume on capillary-number matches analytical theory for droplet formation on heterogenous substrates though the precise quantitative values likely differ due to 2D substrate patterning. Gradient characteristics, including average droplet volume, steepness of the gradient, and its monotonicity, can all be tuned by changing the dip-coating parameters, thus providing a robust method for high-throughput screening applications and experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2200667
JournalAdvanced Materials Interfaces
Issue number22
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Biphilic surfaces
  • Combinatorial chemistry
  • Droplet microarray technology
  • High-throughput screening
  • Parallelization of experiments


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