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Issue 2, 2019
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Tuning nanostructured surfaces with hybrid wettability areas to enhance condensation

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Vapor condensation is widespread in natural and industrial applications. Rapid and efficient condensation plays an essential role in improving energy efficiency. Despite numerous efforts over the past few decades, the fundamental mechanism of condensation and the microscopic features of condensed droplets are not well understood. Moreover, designing a nanostructured surface with wetting contrast to enhance dropwise condensation remains unclear. Herein, through molecular dynamics simulation, we characterized the condensation processes on various nanopillar surfaces, including the nucleation, growth and coalescence of nanodroplets. During condensation, the droplet size grows linearly with time as Vt, and the coalescence between small droplets can affect the resultant wetting mode of large droplets. The results indicate that the cooperation between spatially ordering nucleation and dropwise growth endows hybrid nanopillar surfaces with better heat and mass transfer performance compared with other homogeneous nanopillar surfaces. Moreover, an interesting dewetting transition occurring on hydrophobic nanopillar surface was observed during droplet growth, the nucleation site and dewetting transition were analyzed based on potential energy field of surface. By varying the geometric parameters of the nanopillar, we found that the condensation rate of the hybrid nanopillar surface increases with the increase of surface solid fraction. The dense nanopillar array can not only restrain the formation of Wenzel mode droplet, but also enhance the condensation rate, which provides a guidance for the design of hybrid nanostructured surfaces.

Graphical abstract: Tuning nanostructured surfaces with hybrid wettability areas to enhance condensation

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Publication details

The article was received on 17 Jul 2018, accepted on 28 Sep 2018 and first published on 03 Oct 2018

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8NR05772A
Citation: Nanoscale, 2019,11, 459-466

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    Tuning nanostructured surfaces with hybrid wettability areas to enhance condensation

    S. Gao, W. Liu and Z. Liu, Nanoscale, 2019, 11, 459
    DOI: 10.1039/C8NR05772A

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