Europhys. Lett.
Volume 63, Number 3, August 2003
Page(s) 394 - 400
Section Condensed matter: structure, mechanical and thermal properties
Published online 01 November 2003
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2003-00540-7
Europhys. Lett., 63 (3) , pp. 394-400 (2003)

Subpattern formation during condensation processes on structured substrates

C. Schäfle, P. Leiderer and C. Bechinger

Fachbereich Physik, Universität Konstanz - Fach M676, D-78457 Konstanz, Germany

(Received 24 February 2003; accepted in final form 26 May 2003)

We investigate the temporal and spatial development of condensation patterns on chemically patterned substrates. We find that droplets condense preferentially on lyophilic sites and are surrounded by a depletion zone where no further nucleation occurs. The size of the depletion zones can be tuned by the flow rate of the incoming gas stream. If the size of the depletion zones is in a suitable range, well-defined droplets grow on the interstitial sites of the lyophilic lattice, i.e. on the non-structured areas. This can lead to ordered substructures.

68.03.Fg - Evaporation and condensation.
68.08.Bc - Wetting.

© EDP Sciences 2003