Snap evaporation of droplets on smooth topographies

Wells, Gary, Ruiz Gutierrez, Elfego, Ledesma Aguilar, Rodrigo, Le Lirzin, Youen, Nourry, Anthony, Orme, Bethany and Pradas, Marc (2018) Snap evaporation of droplets on smooth topographies. Nature Communications, 9. p. 1380. ISSN 2041-1723

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Official URL: http://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-03840-6

Abstract

Droplet evaporation on solid surfaces is important in many applications including printing, micro-patterning and cooling. While seemingly simple, the configuration of evaporating droplets on solids is difficult to predict and control. This is because evaporation typically proceeds as a "stick-slip" sequence combination of pinning and de-pinning events dominated by static friction, or "pinning", caused by microscopic surface roughness. Here we show how smooth, pinning-free, solid surfaces of non-planar topography promote a different process called snap evaporation. During snap evaporation a droplet follows a reproducible sequence of configurations, consisting of a quasi-static phase-change controlled by mass diffusion interrupted by out-of-equilibrium snaps. Snaps are triggered by bifurcations of the equilibrium droplet shape mediated by the underlying non-planar solid. Because the evolution of droplets during snap evaporation is controlled by a smooth topography, and not by surface roughness, our ideas can inspire programmable surfaces that manage liquids in heat- and mass-transfer applications.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Applied mathematics, Fluidics, Phase transitions and critical phenomena, Wetting
Subjects: F300 Physics
J500 Materials Technology not otherwise specified
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2018 16:01
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2019 14:45
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/33752

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