Wetting Transitions of Liquid Gallium Film on Nanopillar-Decorated Graphene Surfaces

JJ Wang and T Li and YF Li and YR Duan and YY Jiang and H Arandiyan and H Li, MOLECULES, 23, 2407 (2018).

DOI: 10.3390/molecules23102407

Molecular dynamics (MD) simulation has been employed to study the wetting transitions of liquid gallium droplet on the graphene surfaces, which are decorated with three types of carbon nanopillars, and to explore the effect of the surface roughness and morphology on the wettability of liquid Ga. The simulation results showed that, at the beginning, the Ga film looks like an upside-down dish on the rough surface, different from that on the smooth graphene surface, and its size is crucial to the final state of liquid. Ga droplets exhibit a Cassie-Baxter (CB) state, aWenzel state, a MixedWetting state, and a dewetting state on the patterned surfaces by changing distribution and the morphology of nanopillars. Top morphology of nanopillars has a direct impact on the wetting transition of liquid Ga. There are three transition states for the two types of carbon nanotube (CNT) substrates and two for the carbon nanocone (CNC) one. Furthermore, we have found that the substrates show high or low adhesion to the Ga droplet with the variation of their roughness and top morphology. With the roughness decreasing, the adhesion energy of the substrate decreases. With the same roughness, the CNC/graphene surface has the lowest adhesion energy, followed by CNT/graphene and capped CNT/graphene surfaces. Our findings provide not only valid support to previous works but also reveal new theories on the wetting model of the metal droplet on the rough substrates.

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