Enhanced Condensation on Liquid-Infused Nanoporous Surfaces by Vibration-Assisted Droplet Sweeping

Inkyu Oh, Hyeongyun Cha, Jiehao Chen, Shreyas Chavan, Hyunjoon Kong, Nenad Miljkovic, Yuhang Hu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Condensation is a universal phenomenon that occurs in nature and industry. Previous studies have used superhydrophobicity and liquid infusion to enable superior liquid repellency due to reduced contact angle hysteresis. However, small condensate droplets remain immobile on condensing surfaces until they grow to the departing size at which the body force can overcome the contact line pinning force. Hence, condensation heat transfer is limited by these remaining droplets that act as thermal barriers. To break these limitations, we introduce vibrational actuation to a slippery liquid-infused nanoporous surface (SLIPS) and show enhanced droplet mobility, controllable condensate repellency, and more efficient heat transfer compared to static SLIPSs. We demonstrate 39% smaller departing droplet size and 8× faster droplet departing speeds on the dynamic vibrating SLIPS compared to the nonactuated SLIPS. To understand the implications of these behaviors on heat transfer, we investigate the condensate area coverage and droplet distribution to verify enhanced dewetting on dynamic vibrating SLIPSs. Using well-validated heat transfer models, we demonstrate enhanced condensation heat transfer on dynamic SLIPSs due to the higher population of smaller condensate droplets (<100 μm). In addition to condensation heat transfer, we also show that vibrating SLIPSs can enhance droplet collection. This work utilizes the synergistic combination of surface chemistry and mechanical actuation to realize enhanced droplet mobility and heat transfer in an electrically controllable and switchable manner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13367-13379
Number of pages13
JournalACS Nano
Issue number10
Early online dateOct 16 2020
StatePublished - Oct 27 2020


  • condensation
  • dielectric elastomer
  • heat transfer
  • liquid repellency
  • self-cleaning
  • slippery liquid-infused nanoporous surface
  • water harvesting nanotechnology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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