Spatial Control of Condensation: The Past, the Present, and the Future

Nikolaj Kofoed Mandsberg

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Spatial control of condensation/nucleation is important for applications such as capillary force-driven parallelized device alignment, suppression of hainreaction ice-formation, and energy generation in steam cycles or dew collection to mitigate water scarcity. However, the nucleation is inherently random, limiting the possibilities to achieve defect-free and durable spatial control. The two well-known strategies for spatial control are chemical and topographical patterning, which can both promote nucleation in predetermined regions by spatially shifting the probability distribution for nucleation. Historical developments of the field and studies that focus on or utilize spatial control of condensation are presented herein. The studies are divided according to the strategy and length scale of surface patterning, from nanometer to millimeter. In addition to the two well-known strategies, supersaturation is identified as a third strategy. Their advantages are discussed together with future directions of spatial control with a focus on stimuli-responsive spatial control and the importance of transitioning to control of liquids other than water.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2100815
JournalAdvanced Materials Interfaces
Issue number23
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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