Evaporation of Nanodroplets on Heated Substrates: A Molecular Dynamics Simulation Study

JG Zhang and F Leroy and F Muller-Plathe, LANGMUIR, 29, 9770-9782 (2013).

DOI: 10.1021/la401655h

Molecular dynamics simulations of Lennard-Jones particles have been performed to study the evaporation behavior of nanodroplets on heated substrates. The influence of the liquid-substrate interaction strength on the evaporation properties was addressed. Our results show that, during the temperature-raising evaporation, the gas is always hotter than the droplet. In contrast to the usual experimental conditions, the droplet sizes in our simulations are in the nanometer scale range and the substrates are ideally smooth and chemically homogeneous. As a result, no pinning was observed in our simulations for substrates denoted either hydrophilic (contact angle theta < 90 degrees) or hydrophobic (contact angle theta > 90 degrees). The evaporative mass flux is stronger with increasing hydrophilicity of the substrate because the heat transfer from the substrate to the droplet is more efficient for stronger attraction between the solid and the droplet. Evaporation and heat transfer to the gas phase occur preferentially in the vicinity of the three-phase contact line in the hydrophilic system. However, in the case of a hydrophobic substrate, there is no preferential location for mass and heat fluxes. During the whole evaporation process, no pure behavior according to either the constant-angle or the constant-radius model was found; both the contact angle and contact radius decrease for the droplets on hydrophilic and hydrophobic substrates alike.

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