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Factors Affecting the Spontaneous Motion of Condensate Drops on Superhydrophobic Copper Surfaces

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posted on 21.02.2016 by Jie Feng, Zhaoqian Qin, Shuhuai Yao
The coalescence-induced condensate drop motion on some superhydrophobic surfaces (SHSs) has attracted increasing attention because of its potential applications in sustained dropwise condensation, water collection, anti-icing, and anticorrosion. However, an investigation of the mechanism of such self-propelled motion including the factors for designing such SHSs is still limited. In this article, we fabricated a series of superhydrophobic copper surfaces with nanoribbon structures using wet chemical oxidation followed by fluorization treatment. We then systematically studied the influence of surface roughness and the chemical properties of as-prepared surfaces on the spontaneous motion of condensate drops. We quantified the “frequency” of the condensate drop motion based on microscopic sequential images and showed that the trend of this frequency varied with the nanoribbon structure and extent of fluorination. More obvious spontaneous condensate drop motion was observed on surfaces with a higher extent of fluorization and nanostructures possessing sufficiently narrow spacing and higher perpendicularity. We attribute this enhanced drop mobility to the stable Cassie state of condensate drops in the dynamic dropwise condensation process that is determined by the nanoscale morphology and local surface energy.