Droplet impact on superheated micro-structured surfaces

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When a droplet impacts upon a surface heated above the liquid's boiling point, the droplet either comes into contact with the surface and boils immediately (contact boiling), or is supported by a developing vapor layer and bounces back (film boiling, or Leidenfrost state). We study the transition between these characteristic behaviors and how it is affected by parameters such as impact velocity, surface temperature, and controlled roughness (i.e., micro-structures fabricated on silicon surfaces). In the film boiling regime, we show that the residence time of droplets impacting upon the surface strongly depends on the drop size. We also show that the maximum spreading factor Γ of droplets in this regime displays a universal scaling behavior Γ [similar] We3/10, which can be explained by taking into account the drag force of the vapor flow under the drop. This argument also leads to predictions for the scaling of film thickness and velocity of the vapor shooting out of the gap between the drop and the surface. In the contact boiling regime, we show that the structured surfaces induce the formation of vertical liquid jets during the spreading stage of impacting droplets
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3272-3282
Number of pages11
JournalSoft matter
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2013


  • IR-85513
  • METIS-294231


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