Dropwise condensation on superhydrophobic surfaces with two-tier roughness

Chuan Hua Chen*, Qingjun Cai, Chialun Tsai, Chung-Lung Chen, Guangyong Xiong, Ying Yu, Zhifeng Ren

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

329 Scopus citations


Dropwise condensation can enhance heat transfer by an order of magnitude compared to film condensation. Superhydrophobicity appears ideal to promote continued dropwise condensation which requires rapid removal of condensate drops; however, such promotion has not been reported on engineered surfaces. This letter reports continuous dropwise condensation on a superhydrophobic surface with short carbon nanotubes deposited on micromachined posts, a two-tier texture mimicking lotus leaves. On such micro-/nanostructured surfaces, the condensate drops prefer the Cassie state which is thermodynamically more stable than the Wenzel state. With a hexadecanethiol coating, superhydrophobicity is retained during and after condensation and rapid drop removal is enabled.

Original languageEnglish
Article number173108
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number17
StatePublished - 21 May 2007

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