Dynamic Defrosting on Nanostructured Superhydrophobic Surfaces

JB Boreyko and BR Srijanto and TD Nguyen and C Vega and M Fuentes- Cabrera and CP Collier, LANGMUIR, 29, 9516-9524 (2013).

DOI: 10.1021/la401282c

Water suspended on chilled superhydrophobic surfaces exhibits delayed freezing; however, the interdrop growth of frost through subcooled condensate forming on the surface seems unavoidable in humid environments. It is therefore of great practical importance to determine whether facile defrosting is possible on superhydrophobic surfaces. Here, we report that nanostructured superhydrophobic surfaces. Promote the growth of frost in a suspended Cassie state, enabling its dynamic removal upon partial melting at low tilt angles (<15 degrees). The dynamic removal of the melting frost occurred in two stages: spontaneous dewetting followed by gravitational mobilization. This dynamic defrosting phenomenon is driven by the low contact angle hysteresis of the defrosted meltwater relative to frost on microstructured superhydrophobic surfaces, which forms in the impaled Wenzel state. Dynamic defrosting on nanostructured superhydrophobic surfaces minimizes the time, heat, and gravitational energy required to remove frost from the surface, and is of interest for a variety of systems in cold and humid environments.

Return to Publications page