Fluid Flow Programming in Paper-Derived Silica-Polymer Hybrids

Langmuir. 2017 Jan 10;33(1):332-339. doi: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.6b03839. Epub 2016 Dec 16.


In paper-based devices, capillary fluid flow is based on length-scale selective functional control within a hierarchical porous system. The fluid flow can be tuned by altering the paper preparation process, which controls parameters such as the paper grammage. Interestingly, the fiber morphology and nanoporosity are often neglected. In this work, porous voids are incorporated into paper by the combination of dense or mesoporous ceramic silica coatings with hierarchically porous cotton linter paper. Varying the silica coating leads to significant changes in the fluid flow characteristics, up to the complete water exclusion without any further fiber surface hydrophobization, providing new approaches to control fluid flow. Additionally, functionalization with redox-responsive polymers leads to reversible, dynamic gating of fluid flow in these hybrid paper materials, demonstrating the potential of length scale specific, dynamic, and external transport control.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't