Droplet Evaporation Dynamics on a Superhydrophobic Surface with Negligible Hysteresis
Date of this Version8-2-2013
We report on experiments of droplet evaporation on a structured superhydrophobic surface that displays very high contact angle (CA 160 deg), and negligible contact angle hysteresis (<1>deg). The droplet evaporation is observed to occur in a constant-contact-angle mode, with contact radius shrinking for almost the entire duration of evaporation. Experiments conducted on Teflon-coated smooth surface (CA 120 deg) as a baseline also support an evaporation process that is dominated by a constant-contact-angle mode. The experimental results are compared with an isothermal diffusion model for droplet evaporation from the literature. Good agreement is observed for the Teflon-coated smooth surface between the analytical expression and experimental results in terms of the total time for evaporation, transient volume, contact angle, and contact radius. However, for the structured superhydrophobic surface, the experiments indicate that the time taken for complete evaporation of the droplet is greater than the predicted time, across all droplet volumes. This disparity is attributed primarily to the evaporative cooling at the droplet interface due to the high aspect ratio of the droplet and also the lower effective thermal conductivity of the substrate due to the presence of air gaps. This hypothesis is verified by numerically evaluating the temperature distribution along the droplet interface. We propose a generalized relation for predicting the instantaneous volume of droplets with initial CA > 90 deg, irrespective of the mode of evaporation.
Nanoscience and Nanotechnology