Coalescence of water films on carbon-based substrates: the role of the interfacial properties and anisotropic surface topography

HR Ren and XY Li and H Li and LN Zhang and WK Wu, PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 17, 11284-11291 (2015).

DOI: 10.1039/c4cp06081d

Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are carried out to study the coalescence of identical adjacent and nonadjacent water films on graphene (G), vertically or horizontally stacked carbon nanotube arrays (VCNTA and HCNTA respectively). We highlight the key importance of carbon-based substrates in the growth of the liquid bridge connecting the two water films. This simulation provides reliable evidence to confirm a linear increase of the liquid bridge height, which is sensitive to the surface properties and the geometric structure. In the case of nonadjacent water films, the meniscus liquid bridge occurs solely on the VCNTA, which is attributed to the spreading of water films driven by the capillary force. Our results provide an available method to tune the coalescence of adjacent or nonadjacent films with alteration of topographically patterned surfaces, which has important implications in the design of condensation, ink-jet printing and drop manipulation on a substrate.

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