On the Hydrodynamic Mechanism of Droplet Impact on Bio-inspired Superhydrophobic Surface with Asymmetric Structure

Project: Research

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Understanding and controlling the complex dynamics of liquid droplet impacting solidsurfaces has captivated scientists over one century, and has broad technological implicationsin areas related with energy, water and global health. Despite extensive research, it remainschallenging to predict the outcomes of droplet impact on textured surfaces that arecomplicated by the complexity of the dynamic process at the triple-phase contact lines.Moreover, most of synthetic textured surfaces reported are limited to micro/nanoscaleroughness and display isotropic wettability.Inspired by the observation that the surfaces of many natural plants are associated withlarge scale convex or concave architecture, we hypothesize that the anisotropic structure onthe natural surfaces might lead to exciting physics and unexpected functionalities. Indeed, werecently found that droplet impacting on the natural Echeveria surface can detach from thesurface more easily and displays an intriguing asymmetric bouncing behavior. Thus, the maingoal of the proposed project is to implement an integrated experimental, modeling andanalytical approach to elucidate the fundamental mechanism responsible for the uniquebouncing dynamics. Briefly, we will develop a novel type of scalable superhydrophobicsurface with asymmetric structure by mimicking the natural Echeveria surface. We will thenprobe the roles of the anisotropic structure, substrate stiffness on the droplet bouncingbehavior. We will also investigate how to inhibit droplet bouncing on the natural andengineered surfaces by tailoring the liquid property.The prospect of uncovering the mechanism inherent in the intriguing anisotropicbouncing will not only advance and extend our understanding of wetting phenomenon, butalso open up a new avenue for the rational development of bio-inspired surfaces for a broadrange of industrial applications. Our preliminary work on the fundamental understanding ofwetting dynamics (Physical Review Letters, 2012; Nature Physics, 2014) and thedevelopment of superhydrophobic surfaces for multifunctional applications (AdvancedFunctional Materials, 2011; Scientific Reports, 2013 and 2014) have laid importantfoundation for the implementation of the project with a proposed budget of 1,378,000 HKD(~170,000 USD). The implementation of the proposed project will also enable the PI tocontinue his research work in the areas of thermal-fluid in a sustained and focused manner.


Project number9042208
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/07/1525/06/19

    Research areas

  • Superhydrophobic,Fluid Dynamics,HVAC System,Interfaces,