The effect of surface morphology on the rate of phase change of micron and sub-micron sized 2-D droplets

Rezaeimoghaddam M., Dursunkaya Z.

NANOSCALE AND MICROSCALE THERMOPHYSICAL ENGINEERING, vol.24, pp.184-200, 2020 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 24
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/15567265.2020.1853290
  • Page Numbers: pp.184-200


Heat transfer via phase change is a major contributor to heat removal in numerous engineering applications. Thin films of liquid result in increased heat transfer due to a reduction of conduction resistance, in addition the pressure jump at the liquid-vapor interface also affects the rate and direction of the rate of phase change. Because of these effects the morphology of the substrate surface is expected to affect the film shape, hence heat transfer, especially in thin films. In this study, the influence of surface characteristics on the rate of phase change from micron- and submicron-sized 2D droplets - i.e. films extending to infinity - forming on a substrate are modeled. Surface film profiles are generated on both flat and nonflat surfaces, triangular or wavy in nature, and a kinetic model for quasi-equilibrium phase change is applied. In the case of wavy surfaces, the surface is assumed to be a harmonic wave with an amplitude equal to the surface roughness and a wavelength corresponding to values commonly encountered in applications. Due to the presence of intermolecular forces at the contact line, which renders the solution of the augmented Young-Laplace equation stiff, an implicit scheme is employed for the numerical integration. To verify the method, the predictions of a molecular dynamics (MD) simulation of a nano-sized droplet present on a V-grooved surface are compared to the continuum model. The augmented Young-Laplace equation is solved numerically along with a phase change model originating from kinetic theory to calculate the shape of the two-phase interface forming the droplet and study the effect of various parameters on the rate of phase change. Results are obtained for droplets with liquid pressures higher and lower than that of vapor, resulting in opposite contribution to phase change due to the pressure jump at the interface. The results show that the heat-transfer rate can be substantially altered due primarily to the combined effects of surface morphology and disjoining pressure. It is also concluded that wavy surfaces with short amplitudes are preferable to ones with longer amplitudes for enhancing the rate of evaporation or condensation.