Rapid and Persistent Suction Condensation on Hydrophilic Surfaces for High-Efficiency Water Collection

Yaqi Cheng, Mingmei Wang, Jing Sun, Minjie Liu, Bingang Du, Yuanbo Liu, Yuankai Jin, Rongfu Wen, Zhong Lan, Xiaofeng Zhou, Xuehu Ma, Zuankai Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

48 Citations (Scopus)


Water collection by dew condensation emerges as a sustainable solution to water scarcity. However, the transient condensation process that involves droplet nucleation, growth, and transport imposes conflicting requirements on surface properties. It is challenging to satisfy all benefits for different condensation stages simultaneously. By mimicking the structures and functions of moss Rhacocarpus, here, we report the attainment of dropwise condensation for efficient water collection even on a hydrophilic surface gated by a liquid suction mechanism. The Rhacocarpus-inspired porous surface (RIPS), which possesses a three-level wettability gradient, facilitates a rapid, directional, and persistent droplet suction. Such suction condensation enables a low nucleation barrier, frequent surface refreshing, and well-defined maximum droplet shedding radius simultaneously. Thus, a maximum ∼160% enhancement in water collection performance compared to the hydrophobic surface is achieved. Our work provides new insights and a design route for developing engineered materials for a wide range of water-harvesting and phase-change heat-transfer applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7411-7418
Number of pages8
JournalNano Letters
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sept 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • bioinspiration
  • condensation
  • liquid suction
  • water collection
  • wettability gradient

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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