Europhys. Lett.
Volume 75, Number 1, July 2006
Page(s) 98 - 104
Section Condensed matter: structural, mechanical and thermal properties
Published online 31 May 2006
Europhys. Lett., 75 (1), pp. 98-104 (2006)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2006-10069-9

Water condensation on a super-hydrophobic spike surface

R. D. Narhe1 and D. A. Beysens1, 2

1  Equipe du Supercritique pour l'Environnement, les Matériaux et l'Espace Ecole Supérieure de Physique et Chimie Industrielle Laboratoire de Physique et Mécanique des Milieux Hétérogènes 10, rue Vauquelin, 75231 Paris Cedex 05, France
2  Service des Basses Températures, CEA-Grenoble - Grenoble, France

received 16 January 2006; accepted in final form 4 May 2006
published online 31 May 2006

Condensation-induced water drop growth was studied on a super-hydrophobic spike surface. The dynamics are described by three main stages depending on the size of the drop with respect to the different spike pattern length scales. The initial stage is characterized by nucleation of the drops at the bottom (cavities) of the spikes. During the intermediate stage, large drops are surrounded by smaller drops within the neighboring cavities in what is described as a "bright ring". This ring persists until coalescence occurs with the central drop. The last stage is characterized by Wenzel-type drops growing with scaling laws similar to that on a planar surface but with contact angle $\theta^\ast \approx 111^\circ$, lower than for deposited drops ( $\theta = 164^\circ$). Condensation on spike surfaces does not retain anything of super-hydrophobicity, in contrast to super-hydrophobic square and strip patterns.

68.03.Cd - Surface tension and related phenomena.
68.08.Bc - Wetting.
64.60.Qb - Nucleation.

© EDP Sciences 2006