Coalescence-induced jumping of droplets on superomniphobic surfaces with macrotexture

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Science Advances  09 Nov 2018:
Vol. 4, no. 11, eaau3488
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aau3488


When two liquid droplets coalesce on a superrepellent surface, the excess surface energy is partly converted to upward kinetic energy, and the coalesced droplet jumps away from the surface. However, the efficiency of this energy conversion is very low. In this work, we used a simple and passive technique consisting of superomniphobic surfaces with a macrotexture (comparable to the droplet size) to experimentally demonstrate coalescence-induced jumping with an energy conversion efficiency of 18.8% (i.e., about 570% increase compared to superomniphobic surfaces without a macrotexture). The higher energy conversion efficiency arises primarily from the effective redirection of in-plane velocity vectors to out-of-plane velocity vectors by the macrotexture. Using this higher energy conversion efficiency, we demonstrated coalescence-induced jumping of droplets with low surface tension (26.6 mN m−1) and very high viscosity (220 mPa·s). These results constitute the first-ever demonstration of coalescence-induced jumping of droplets at Ohnesorge number >1.

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