Theoretical and Experimental Studies on the Controllable Pancake Bouncing Behavior of Droplets

A droplet that impacts on a superhydrophobic surface will undergo a process of unfolding, contracting, and finally rebounding from the surface. With regards to the pancake bouncing behavior of a droplet, since the retraction process of the droplet is omitted, the contact time is greatly shortened compared to the normal type of bouncing. However, the quantitative prediction to the range of droplet pancake bouncing and the adjustment of pancake bouncing state have yet to be probed into. In this paper, we reported the controllable pancake bouncing of droplets by adjusting the size of the superhydrophobic surface with microstructures. In addition, we also discovered a dimensional effect with regards to pancake bouncing, namely, the pancake bouncing would be more likely to happen on the surfaces with large post spacing for the droplet with the larger radius. The contact time could be reduced to 2 ms by adjusting the size of the microstructures and the radius of the droplets. Based on the relationship between the droplet bouncing state and the surface microstructure size, we are able to propose reasonable dimensions for the surfaces in order to control pancake bouncing.