Recurrent filmwise and dropwise condensation on a beetle mimetic surface

Youmin Hou, Miao Yu, Xuemei Chen, Zuankai Wang, Shuhuai Yao

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

443 Citations (Scopus)


Vapor condensation plays a key role in a wide range of industrial applications including power generation, thermal management, water harvesting and desalination. Fast droplet nucleation and efficient droplet departure as well as low interfacial thermal resistance are important factors that determine the thermal performances of condensation; however, these properties have conflicting requirements on the structural roughness and surface chemistry of the condensing surface or condensation modes (e.g., filmwise vs dropwise). Despite intensive efforts over the past few decades, almost all studies have focused on the dropwise condensation enabled by superhydrophobic surfaces. In this work, we report the development of a bioinspired hybrid surface with high wetting contrast that allows for seamless integration of filmwise and dropwise condensation modes. We show that the synergistic cooperation in the observed recurrent condensation modes leads to improvements in all aspects of heat transfer properties including droplet nucleation density, growth rate, and self-removal, as well as overall heat transfer coefficient. Moreover, we propose an analytical model to optimize the surface morphological features for dramatic heat transfer enhancement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-81
Number of pages11
JournalACS Nano
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • dropwise condensation
  • filmwise condensation
  • heat transfer enhancement
  • heterogeneous wettability
  • nanostructure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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