Droplet Shapes on Superhydrophobic Surfaces under Electrowetting Actuation

S. Ravi Annapragada, United Technologies Research Center
Jayathi Y. Murthy, Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University
Suresh V. Garimella, Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University

Date of this Version



Droplet behavior on structured surfaces has recently generated a lot of interest due to its application to self-cleaning surfaces and in microfluidic devices. In this paper, the droplet shape and the droplet state on superhydrophobic surfaces are predicted using the Volume of Fluid (VOF) approach. Various structured surfaces are considered and the apparent contact angles are extracted from the predicted droplet shapes. Droplet dynamics under electrowetting are also modeled, including contact line friction. The model is validated against in-house experiments and experiments from the literature. The droplet state, droplet shape and apparent contact angles match well with the experimental measurements. The Cassie and Wenzel states on structured surfaces are also accurately predicted. Further, the electrowetting-induced transition from the Cassie to the Wenzel state and the reversal to the Cassie state is predicted for two different superhydrophobic surfaces. The transient wetting process, intermediate energy states and droplet shapes during electrowetting are simulated. The effective contact line friction coefficient on pillared surfaces is predicted to be 0.14 Ns/m2 , consistent with published values.


Nanoscience and Nanotechnology