Evaporation of Droplets on Superhydrophobic Surfaces: Surface Roughness and Small Droplet Size Effects

Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong 999077, China.
Physical Review Letters (Impact Factor: 7.73). 09/2012; 109(11). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.109.116101

ABSTRACT Evaporation of a sessile droplet is a complex, nonequilibrium phenomenon. Although evaporating droplets upon superhydrophobic surfaces have been known to exhibit distinctive evaporation modes such as a constant contact line (CCL), a constant contact angle (CCA), or both, our fundamental understanding of the effects of surface roughness on the wetting transition remains elusive. We show that the onset time for the CCL-CCA transition and the critical base size at the Cassie-Wenzel transition exhibit remarkable dependence on the surface roughness. Through global interfacial energy analysis we reveal that, when the size of the evaporating droplet becomes comparable to the surface roughness, the line tension at the triple line becomes important in the prediction of the critical base size. Last, we show that both the CCL evaporation mode and the Cassie-Wenzel transition can be effectively inhibited by engineering a surface with hierarchical roughness.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In this report we show that synchrotron X-ray radiography is a powerful method to study liquid-air interface penetration through opaque microtextured surface roughness, leading to wetting transition. We investigate this wetting phenomenon in the context of sessile drop evaporation, and establish that liquid interface sinking into the surface texture is indeed dictated by the balance of capillary and Laplace pressures, where the intrinsically three-dimensional nature of the meniscus must be accounted for. Air bubble entrapment in the texture underneath impacting water drops is also visualized and the mechanisms of post-impact drop evaporation are discussed.
    Scientific Reports 02/2014; 4:4055. · 5.08 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Using molecular dynamics simulations, we show a fine linear relationship between surface energies and microscopic Lennard-Jones parameters of super-hydrophilic surfaces. The linear slope of the super-hydrophilic surfaces is consistent with the linear slope of the super-hydrophobic, hydrophobic, and hydrophilic surfaces where stable water droplets can stand, indicating that there is a universal linear behavior of the surface energies with the water-surface van der Waals interaction that extends from the super-hydrophobic to super-hydrophilic surfaces. Moreover, we find that the linear relationship exists for various substrate types, and the linear slopes of these different types of substrates are dependent on the surface atom density, i.e., higher surface atom densities correspond to larger linear slopes. These results enrich our understanding of water behavior on solid surfaces, especially the water wetting behaviors on uncharged super-hydrophilic metal surfaces.
    The Journal of Chemical Physics 12/2013; 139(23):234703. · 3.12 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Despite extensive progress, current icephobic materials are limited by the breakdown of their icephobicity in the condensation frosting environment. In particular, the frost formation over the entire surface is inevitable as a result of undesired inter-droplet freezing wave propagation initiated by the sample edges. Moreover, the frost formation directly results in an increased frost adhesion, posing severe challenges for the subsequent defrosting process. Here, we report a hierarchical surface which allows for interdroplet freezing wave propagation suppression and efficient frost removal. The enhanced performances are mainly owing to the activation of the microscale edge effect in the hierarchical surface, which increases the energy barrier for ice bridging as well as engendering the liquid lubrication during the defrosting process. We believe the concept of harnessing the surface morphology to achieve superior performances in two opposite phase transition processes might shed new light on the development of novel materials for various applications.
    Scientific Reports 08/2013; 3:2515. · 5.08 Impact Factor