Vapor Condensation on Bioinspired Hierarchical Nanostructured Surfaces with Hybrid Wettabilities

XB Dai and M Wang and JZ Zhang and GM Xin and XY Wang, LANGMUIR, 38, 11099-11108 (2022).

DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.2c01796

Vapor condensation on bioinspired hierarchical nanostructured surfaces with hybrid wettabilities has been investigated using molecular dynamics simulations. A series of hierarchical surfaces consisting of nanocylinder arrays with hydrophilic top and hydrophobic nanopillar arrays are constructed. The results manifest that the condensed nanodroplets undergo three states in the whole water vapor condensation process, and the total condensed atom number on surfaces increases with the increase of nanocylinder diameter (D), which indicates that the introduction of hydrophilic nanocylinders is conducive to improving the condensation performance compared with that on the hydrophobic surface patterned with homogeneous nanopillars. However, the nucleation sites on hierarchical nanostructured surfaces are covered by the condensed nanodroplets at the end of condensation, which suppresses the further enhancement of condensation performance. To solve these problems, we add a collection region close to the edge of the nanostructured surface. It is noticed that the condensed nanodroplets can roll into the collection regions gradually during the condensation process, which keeps the nucleation sites on nanostructured surfaces exposed effectively, especially for the cases of 20 A <= D <= 40 A. Moreover, the cluster number, the total condensed atom number, and the condensation enhancement efficiency on hierarchical nanostructured surfaces with collection regions at 20 A <= D <= 40 A are higher obviously compared with those on surfaces without collection regions. Our study demonstrates that the bioinspired hierarchical nanostructured surface with the collection region is beneficial to boost the vapor condensation performance, which can bring new insights into water vapor condensation.

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