The cold Leidenfrost regime

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Science Advances  28 Jun 2019:
Vol. 5, no. 6, eaaw0304
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw0304


Superhydrophobicity (observed at room temperature) and Leidenfrost phenomenon (observed on very hot solids) are classical examples of nonwetting surfaces. It was found that combining the two effects by heating water-repellent materials leads to a marked yet unexplained decrease of the Leidenfrost temperature of water. We discuss here how heat enhances superhydrophobicity by favoring a “cold Leidenfrost regime” where water adhesion becomes nonmeasurable even at moderate substrate temperature. Heat is found to induce contradictory effects (sticking due to vapor condensation, and lift due to the spreading of vapor patches), which is eventually shown to be controllable by the solid surface texture. The transition to the levitating Leidenfrost regime is observed to be continuous as a function of temperature, contrasting with the transition on common solids.

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