Snap evaporation of droplets on smooth topographies

Wells, Gary, Ruiz-Gutiérrez, Élfego, Ledesma Aguilar, Rodrigo, Le Lirzin, Youen, Nourry, Anthony, Orme, Bethany V. 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: 21 Apr 2018 18:37
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/33752

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