Bubble formation on superhydrophobic-micropatterned copper surfaces

Xinwei Wang, Siwei Zhao, Hao Wang, Tingrui Pan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Surface physicochemical properties, including wettability and micro-nanoscopic roughness, play an important role in boiling heat transfer and interfacial phenomena. In the paper, we report investigation on bubble formation over superhydrophobic-micropatterned copper surfaces. The distinctive non-wetting micropatterns (of 180 × 180 μm2 squares) were fabricated by our recently reported stereomask lithography process, using a novel superhydrophobic nanocomposite formulation. The superhydrophobic nanocomposite, comprised of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) nanoparticles (of 250 nm in diameter) in a polymeric matrix, presented high degree of hydrophobicity (with water contact angle > 150°). Standard boiling processes were studied with or without a prior-degassing procedure, experimentally. In addition, experiments on uniform superhydrophobic coating as well as bare copper surfaces were conducted as control. The experimental investigations revealed that the micropattern-coated copper surfaces had low bubble formation temperatures, similar to the uniformly coated superhydrophobic surfaces; and those emerging bubbles were more spherical and less likely to merge into a vapor layer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)112-119
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Thermal Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2012


  • Boiling heat transfer
  • Bubble formation
  • Micropatterning
  • Nucleation
  • Superhydrophobicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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