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Characterization of Jumping-Droplet Condensation on Nanostructured Surfaces With Quartz Crystal Microbalance

[+] Author Affiliations
Junwei Su, Hamed Esmaeilzadeh, Chefu Su, Majid Charmchi, Marina Ruths, Hongwei Sun

University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, MA

Paper No. IMECE2017-72315, pp. V007T09A012; 6 pages
  • ASME 2017 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 7: Fluids Engineering
  • Tampa, Florida, USA, November 3–9, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5842-4
  • Copyright © 2017 by ASME


The spontaneously jumping motion of condensed droplets by coalescence on superhydrophobic surfaces has been an active area of research due to its great potential for enhancing the condensation efficiency. Despite a considerable amount of microscopic observations, the interfacial wetting characterization during jumping-droplet condensation is still notably lacking. This work focuses on applying a novel acoustic sensor - quartz crystal microbalance (QCM), to characterize the interfacial wetting on nanostructured surfaces during jumping-droplet condensation. Copper oxide nanostructures were generated on the surface of QCM with a chemical etching method. Based on the geometry of the nanostructures, we modified a theoretical model to reveal the relationship between the frequency shift of the QCM and the wetting states of the surfaces. It was found that the QCM is extremely sensitive to the penetrated liquid in the structured surfaces. Then, the QCM with nanostructured surface was tested on a customed flow condensation setup. The dynamic interfacial wetting characteristics were quantified by the normalized frequency shift of the QCM. Combined with microscopic observation of the corresponding drop motion, we demonstrated that partial wetting (PW) droplets with an about 25% penetrated area underwent spontaneously jumping by coalescence. However, the PW droplets no longer jumped when the penetrated area exceeds 50% due to the stronger adhesion between liquid and the surface. It shows that the characterization of the penetrated liquid in micro/nanostructures, which is very challenging for microscopic observation, can be easily carried out by this acoustic technique.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME



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