Accurate control of droplet behavior is the key to the application fields of cooling, anti icing, microfluidic and so on. The current research mainly focuses on the moving behavior of a single droplet. At this time, it is only necessary to make the driving force of the droplet greater than the fixed resistance. Adjusting the relative size of driving force and resistance of droplets to achieve complex droplet behavior still faces severe challenges.

With the support of NSFC, the Ministry of science and technology and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the song Yanlin research group of the Key Laboratory of green printing, Institute of chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences has been committed to the research and application of nano green printing technology in recent years, and has made a series of progress in the field of ink-jet printing droplet control and functional interface manipulation droplet behavior. Recently, they designed a “droplet robot” which can be programmed and controlled, and realized the complex behaviors of droplet cutting, moving, releasing and rotating for the first time. The robot consists of a magnetic field control system and two stainless steel. Through the programmed control of the magnetic field distribution, the position and center distance of the steel ball can be changed, so as to dynamically adjust the resistance at the front and rear ends of the droplet movement, and realize the multi behavior control of the droplet. The surface treatment of steel ball and the adjustment of its surface energy can be used for the control of various fluid systems. For example, controlling oil droplets under water, controlling water droplets under oil and controlling bubbles under water. This droplet control technology has a wide range of potential applications in the fields of chemical analysis and biomedicine.

What can a programmable magnetic robot do

This study realizes the complex behavior manipulation of droplets. The manipulation of complex chemical and biological experiments can be realized through simple program design. Maybe one day, future chemical and biological experiments can be realized only by “programming”. The relevant research results are published in science advances. The corresponding authors are researcher song Yanlin and Doctor Li huizeng, and the first author is doctoral student Ang Lee.

Responsible editor: CT

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