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Resistant energy analysis of self-pulling process during dropwise condensation on superhydrophobic surfaces

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Abstract

Recently the development of superhydrophobic surfaces with one-tier or hierarchical textures has drawn increasing attention because enhanced condensation heat transfer has been observed on such biomimetic surfaces in well-tailored supersaturation or subcooling conditions. However, the physical mechanisms underlying condensation enhancement are still less understood. Here we report an energy-based analysis on the formation and growth of condensate droplets on two-tier superhydrophobic surfaces, which are fabricated by decorating carbon nanotubes (CNTs) onto microscale fluorinated pillars. Thus-formed hierarchical surfaces with two tier micro/nanoscale roughness are proved to be superior to smooth surfaces in the spatial control of condensate droplets. In particular, we focus on the self-pulling process of condensates in the partially wetting morphology (PW) from surface cavities due to intrinsic Laplace pressure gradient. In this analysis, the self-pulling process of condensate tails is resisted by adhesion energy, viscous dissipation, contact line dissipation and line tension in a combined manner. This process can be facilitated by adjusting the configuration and length scale of the first-tier texture. The optimum design can not only lower the total resistant energy but also favor the out-of-plane motion of condensate droplets anchored in the first-tier cavity. It is also shown that engineered surface with hierarchical roughness is beneficial to remarkably mitigating contact line dissipation from the perspective of molecular kinetic theory (MKT). Our study suggests that scaling down surface roughness to submicron scale can facilitate the self-propelled removal of condensate droplets.

Graphical abstract: Resistant energy analysis of self-pulling process during dropwise condensation on superhydrophobic surfaces

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Publication details

The article was received on 23 Sep 2018, accepted on 20 Dec 2018 and first published on 20 Dec 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8NA00237A
Citation: Nanoscale Adv., 2019, Advance Article
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    Resistant energy analysis of self-pulling process during dropwise condensation on superhydrophobic surfaces

    A. Vandadi, L. Zhao and J. Cheng, Nanoscale Adv., 2019, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C8NA00237A

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