Dynamic defrosting on nanostructured superhydrophobic surfaces

Jonathan B. Boreyko, Bernadeta R. Srijanto, Trung Dac Nguyen, Carlos Vega, Miguel Fuentes-Cabrera, C. Patrick Collier*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

160 Scopus citations


Water suspended on chilled superhydrophobic surfaces exhibits delayed freezing; however, the interdrop growth of frost through subcooled condensate forming on the surface seems unavoidable in humid environments. It is therefore of great practical importance to determine whether facile defrosting is possible on superhydrophobic surfaces. Here, we report that nanostructured superhydrophobic surfaces promote the growth of frost in a suspended Cassie state, enabling its dynamic removal upon partial melting at low tilt angles (<15). The dynamic removal of the melting frost occurred in two stages: spontaneous dewetting followed by gravitational mobilization. This dynamic defrosting phenomenon is driven by the low contact angle hysteresis of the defrosted meltwater relative to frost on microstructured superhydrophobic surfaces, which forms in the impaled Wenzel state. Dynamic defrosting on nanostructured superhydrophobic surfaces minimizes the time, heat, and gravitational energy required to remove frost from the surface, and is of interest for a variety of systems in cold and humid environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9516-9524
Number of pages9
Issue number30
StatePublished - Jul 30 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Spectroscopy
  • General Materials Science
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Electrochemistry


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