Insights into the Impact of Surface Hydrophobicity on Droplet Coalescence and Jumping Dynamics

Hongxia Li, Weilin Yang, Abulimiti Aili, Tiejun Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Droplet coalescence jumping on superhydrophobic surfaces attracts much research attention owing to its capability in enhancing condensation for energy and water applications. In this work, we reveal the impact of the finite surface adhesion to explain velocity discrepancies observed in recent droplet jumping studies, particularly when droplet sizes are a few micrometers (1-10 μm). Surface adhesion, which is usually neglected, can significantly affect both droplet coalescence and departure dynamics. It causes oscillations on velocity and contact area in the droplet coalescence process, as observed numerically and experimentally. Comparing the increasing rate of jumping velocity with contact angle for three different droplet sizes, we show that smaller droplets exhibit higher sensitivity to the change of surface hydrophobicity. We also specify the range of surface superhydrophobicity where the jumping velocity monotonically decreases (θ ≳ 170°), increases (θ ≲ 160°), or changes non-monotonically in transition (160° ≲ θ ≲170°) with droplet size. As a result, there exists a broad jumping velocity range for micrometer-sized droplets on a superhydrophobic surface with a slight contact angle variation. This work offers an extended understanding of the droplet coalescence and jumping dynamics to resolve the discrepancies in recent experimental observations.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)8574-8581
Number of pages8
Issue number34
StatePublished - 29 Aug 2017


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