Ultra-low ice-substrate adhesion and self-deicing during droplet impact freezing

Puhang Jin, Xiao Yan, Muhammad Jahidul Hoque, Kazi Fazle Rabbi, Soumyadip Sett, Jingcheng Ma, Jiaqi Li, Xiaolong Fang, James Carpenter, Saijie Cai, Wenquan Tao, Nenad Miljkovic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A water droplet impacting onto a supercooled surface is typically considered to freeze and adhere to the substrate. This ice accretion poses safety and economic threats to transportation infrastructure, power generation/transmission systems, and telecommunication facilities. Here we report the observation of ultra-low ice-substrate adhesion (0–50 kPa) and remarkable self-deicing during droplet-impact freezing on copper surfaces having medium to high supercooling (30°C–80°C). Mechano-thermo-hydraulic coupling during droplet-impact freezing governs the ice-substrate adhesion by gapping the droplet-substrate contact, enabling self-peeling facilitated by thermal-mechanical stress relaxation. We observe a strong adhesion region in the center of the frozen droplet, which determines the adhesion strength, and develop a regime map to delineate the dependence of adhesion/peeling on droplet inertia, substrate supercooling, and surface wettability. Our work demonstrates key mechanisms governing ice-substrate adhesion during impact icing and presents an approach to passive self-deicing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100894
JournalCell Reports Physical Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 18 2022


  • cracking
  • droplet impact
  • high supercoolings
  • icing
  • low adhesion
  • peeling
  • self-deicing
  • shear strength
  • thermal contraction
  • wettability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Energy(all)
  • Engineering(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Ultra-low ice-substrate adhesion and self-deicing during droplet impact freezing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this