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Wetting Dynamics and Phase Change Phenomena on Nanoengineered Surfaces (invited presentation)

K.K. Varanasi, A. Paxson, H. Kwon, J.D. Smith, T. Deng, M. Hsu, N. Bhate
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US

Keywords: superhydrophobic, impact, condensation, freezing


Droplet impact and phase change phenomena are ubiquitous in various natural and industrial processes. We present interactions of both impacting and condensing droplets on superhydrophobic surfaces, highlight the differences, and provide approaches for surface design that are efficient for these interactions [2-3]. For resisting wetting due to impacting droplets, we show it is important to consider compressibility and water hammer effects in addition to the Bernoulli-type pressures [3]. High-speed droplet impact experiments on various surfaces explicitly show the effect of surface texture on droplet impact resistance and recoil efficacy. Condensation studies on superhydrophobic surfaces using an environmental SEM show that non-preferential heterogeneous nucleation of water droplets results in the loss of superhydrophobicity under condensation [2]. A new approach based on hybrid hydrophobic and hydrophilic surfaces to control nucleation behavior is proposed for the design of effective surfaces under condensation. The efficacy of these surfaces to reduce ice adhesion is also investigated. We show that frost nucleation can significantly compromise the icephobic properties of these surfaces using ESEM and ice adhesion studies and provide a design space of surface textures for deicing applications [1]. These studies provide a pathway for the design of superior surfaces for drop impact, condensation, and de-icing for various industrial applications.
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