Coalescence-induced jumping of condensate droplets from a superhydrophobic surface with hierarchical micro/nanoscale roughness is quantitatively characterized. Experimental observations show that the condensate droplet jumping is induced by coalescence of multiple droplets of different sizes, and that the coalesced droplet trajectories typically deviate from the surface normal. A depthfrom- defocus image processing technique is developed to track the out-of-plane displacement of the jumping droplets, so as to accurately measure the droplet size and velocity. The results demonstrate that the highest jumping velocity is achieved when two droplets coalesce. The jumping velocity decreases gradually with an increase in the number of coalescing droplets, despite the greater potential surface energy released upon coalescence. A general theoretical model that accounts for viscous dissipation, surface adhesion, line tension, the initial droplet wetting states, and the number and sizes of the coalescing droplets is developed to explain the trends of droplet jumping velocity observed in the experiments.

Date of this Version



DOI: 10.1038/srep18649

Published in:

X. Chen, R. S. Patel, J. A. Weibel, and S. V. Garimella, “Coalescence-Induced Jumping of Multiple Condensate Droplets on Hierarchical Superhydrophobic Surfaces,” Scientific Reports, Vol. 6, 18649, 2016.