Inhibiting Random Droplet Motion on Hot Surfaces by Engineering Symmetry-Breaking Janus-Mushroom Structure

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Original languageEnglish
Article number1907999
Journal / PublicationAdvanced Materials
Issue number14
Online published20 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - 9 Apr 2020


Concentrating impacting droplets onto a localized hotspot and inducing them to remain in a preferential heat transfer mode is essential for efficient thermal management such as spray cooling. Conventionally, droplets impacting on hot surfaces can randomly bounce off without becoming fully evaporated, resulting in low heat transfer efficiency. Although the directional and guided transport of impacting droplets to a preferential location can be achieved through the introduction of a structural gradient, the manifestation of such a motion requires the meticulous control of the spatial location where the droplet is released. Here, a novel surface consisting of regularly patterned posts with Janus-mushroom structure (JMS) is designed, in which the sidewalls of the individual posts are decorated with straight and curved morphologies. It is revealed that such structural symmetry-breaking in the individual posts leads to directional liquid penetration and vapor flow toward the straight sidewall, and also reduces the work of adhesion, altogether triggering collective and preferential droplet transport at a high temperature. By surrounding a conventional surface with JMS endowed with favorable directionality, it is possible to concentrate small impacting droplets preferentially onto a localized hotspot to achieve enhanced cooling efficiency.

Research Area(s)

  • bio-inspired materials, superhydrophobic materials, wetting