Spatial Control of Condensation on Chemically Homogeneous Pillar-Built Surfaces

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    Abstract

    The random nature of dropwise condensation impedes spatial control hereof and its use for creating microdroplet arrays, yet here we demonstrate the spatial control of dropwise condensation on a chemically homogeneous pillar array surface, yielding ∼8000 droplets/mm2 under normal atmospheric pressure conditions. The studied pillar array surface is defined by photolithography and etched in silicon by deep reactive ion etching. Subsequently, the surface is covered with a self-assembled monolayer of perfluorodecyltrichlorosilane (FDTS) to render the surface hydrophobic. To obtain a perfect droplet array, with one droplet per pillar, we exploit a phenomenon where the water vapor flux is focused on the apexes of surface asperities by diffusion while matching the nucleation point density to the array dimensions. Matching is here achieved through the variation of interpillar distance and vapor flow conditions.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalLangmuir
    Volume33
    Issue number21
    Pages (from-to)5197-5203
    Number of pages7
    ISSN0743-7463
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

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