Sorting Droplets by Surface Tension: Devices and Methods


Available for Licensing

IP Status

US Utility Patent: US 9823174
India 201827022671 Pending


Arun Kota
Sanil Movafaghi

At A Glance
  • Researches at CSU have optimized superomniphobic surfaces to detect the composition of a liquid blend via the liquid surface tension of its droplets
  • Among other uses, this technology can be used to detect adulterations (such as kerosene) in diesel or gasoline samples efficiently and inexpensively.


Licensing Director

Mandana Ashouri

Reference No.: 16-040


Some countries of Asia (Ex:  India) and Africa (Ex:  Nigeria) subsidize kerosene for the local population for cooking, heating, etc. As a result, kerosene has been mixed into other fuels such as gasoline and diesel. Conventional detection technologies are time consuming, expensive, and require large amounts of fuel sample.


Technology Overview

CSU researchers have developed a portable, low-cost, power-free sensor that can rapidly detect compositions of liquid blends by sensing their surface tension. Superomniphobic surfaces are repellant to virtually any liquid. The mobility of a liquid droplet is dependent upon its liquid surface tension, which in turn depends upon the composition of the liquid blend. CSU researchers have found that surface chemistry can be tuned systematically to sort droplets based on their surface tension.

  • Inexpensive – Fabricated easily in a short time
  • Efficient – No need for external energy input
  • Reusable – each device can be used at least up to 25 times
  • Uncomplicated – No training needed to use the device

Last updated: October 2019