Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Extremely repellent surfaces

19.02.2015

A computational technique reveals how tiny pillars affect the condensation of vapor onto a surface

A computational technique to analyze how water vapor condenses on a surface patterned with an array of tiny pillars has been co-developed by an A*STAR researcher. Calculations carried out using this technique reveal that water droplets preferentially form either on top of the pillars or in the gaps between them, depending on factors such as the height and spacing of the pillars [1].


Superhydrophobic surfaces, which strongly repel water, are promising for many applications.

© Yurok Aleksandrovich/iStock/Thinkstock

Surfaces that strongly repel water, known as superhydrophobic surfaces, are important for many industrial applications as well as self-cleaning, defrosting and anti-icing surfaces. Scientists have discovered that inherently water repellent surfaces can be made much more water repellent by patterning them with micro- or nanoscale structures.

On such surfaces, water droplets can either be suspended across neighboring protrusions or impaled between them. The transition between these two states has previously been explored experimentally and theoretically. Furthermore, the effect of microstructures on vapor condensation has been studied experimentally, but there have been few computational studies of how droplets initially form by condensation from vapor.

Now, Weiqing Ren from the A*STAR Institute of High Performance Computing and Yunzhi Li of the National University of Singapore have systematically analyzed how micropillars on a hydrophobic surface affect the condensation of water vapor. To do this, they used a powerful computational technique known as the string method, which Ren developed in a previous study.

Ren and Li used the technique to investigate the effect of parameters such as the height and spacing of the micropillars and the supersaturation and intrinsic wettability of the surface on the condensation process. They discovered that both the pathway and configuration of the initial nucleus from which droplets form ― known as the critical nucleus ― depends on the geometry of the surface patterns.

In particular, the scientists found that for tall, closely spaced pillars on a surface with a low supersaturation and low wettability, the critical nucleus prefers the suspended state, whereas for the opposite case it prefers the impaled state. By generating a phase diagram, they could determine the critical values of the geometrical parameters at which the configuration of the critical nucleus changes from the suspended state to the impaled state.

These results provide “insights into the effect of surface structure on condensation,” explains Ren, “and a quantitative basis for designing surfaces optimized to either inhibit or enhance condensation in engineered systems.”

In the future, the researchers intend to study how fluid flow affects nucleation and the wetting transition on patterned surfaces.


Reference

[1] Li, Y. & Ren, W. Numerical study of vapor condensation on patterned hydrophobic surfaces using the string method. Langmuir 30, 9567–9576 (2014).


Associated links
A*STAR article

A*STAR Research | ResearchSEA
Further information:
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Reliable molecular toggle switch developed
30.03.2017 | Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)

nachricht Researchers shoot for success with simulations of laser pulse-material interactions
29.03.2017 | DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

'On-off switch' brings researchers a step closer to potential HIV vaccine

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

Penn studies find promise for innovations in liquid biopsies

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

An LED-based device for imaging radiation induced skin damage

30.03.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>