Digital microfluidics depends on efficient movement of individual drops for a variety of tasks, e.g. reagent delivery, mixing, sampling, etc. Superhydrophobic (SH) coatings generally show high repellency and low adhesion for a variety of liquids. Therefore, SH coatings can provide for an efficient drop delivery and hence low energy requirements for a fluidic chip. However, wide application of such coatings is hampered by fragile nature of such coatings to date. A new SH coating is developed that addresses the fragility challenge of such coatings. It is based on application of nanoparticles to fluoropolymers. The mechanical stability, wear resistance and durability under prolonged liquid exposure of this new coating is discussed. It is shown that the new SH coating can maintain high contact angles, low contact angle hysteresis needed for drop mobility under adverse conditions/application of digital microfluidic devices. The developed SH coating can also be sprayed onto various surfaces, including glass used in traditional lab-on-chip (LOC) devices, or even paper for enabling novel Lap-on-paper (LOP) devices.

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