Effect of superamphiphobic macrotextures on dynamics of viscous liquid droplets

Sci Rep. 2018 Oct 18;8(1):15344. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-33656-9.


The ability of hydrophobic surfaces to repel impinging liquid droplets is important in applications ranging from self-cleaning of solar panels to avoiding ice formation in freezing rain environments. In quest of maximizing water repellency, modification of droplet dynamics and subsequent reduction of contact time have been achieved by incorporating macrotexture on the superhydrophobic surfaces. However, the dynamics of low temperature water, and other viscous liquid droplets impacting anti-wetting surfaces with macrotextures is not well explored. Here, we investigate the effect of viscosity on the bouncing dynamics of liquid droplets impacting macrotextured superamphiphobic surfaces using various glycerol-water mixtures as model liquids at different impacting conditions. We demonstrate that the changes of reduction in contact times by macrotextures due to the increasing viscosity are in opposite trends at low and at high impact velocities. Since macrotexture executes substantial contact time reduction for the droplets which exhibit splitting after the impact, a preliminary model for predicting the minimum impact velocity to observe droplet splitting by macrotexture is proposed considering the important parameters of an impinging droplet along with the surface characteristics and the macrotexture size. This work aims to provide an insight on several possible outcomes of viscous droplets impacting on the macrotextured surfaces and a model that will help to design the desired superamphiphobic surfaces capable of exhibiting reduced contact time and enhanced repellency of low-temperature water droplets (such as freezing rain) and other viscous liquids (such as oils) under different impacting conditions.