With the broad interest in and development of superhydrophobic surfaces for self-cleaning, condensation heat transfer enhancement and anti-icing applications, more detailed insights on droplet interactions on these surfaces have emerged. Specifically, when two droplets coalesce, they can spontaneously jump away from a superhydrophobic surface due to the release of excess surface energy. Here we show that jumping droplets gain a net positive charge that causes them to repel each other mid-flight. We used electric fields to quantify the charge on the droplets and identified the mechanism for the charge accumulation, which is associated with the formation of the electric double layer at the droplet-surface interface. The observation of droplet charge accumulation provides insight into jumping droplet physics as well as processes involving charged liquid droplets. Furthermore, this work is a starting point for more advanced approaches for enhancing jumping droplet surface performance by using external electric fields to control droplet jumping.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)