Suppression of Leidenfrost effect on superhydrophobic surfaces

Meng Shi, Ratul Das, Sankara Arunachalam, Himanshu Mishra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The Leidenfrost phenomenon entails the levitation of a liquid droplet over a superheated surface, cushioned by its vapor layer. This vapor layer can obstruct boiling heat transfer in heat exchangers, thereby compromising energy efficiency and safety. For water, superhydrophobic surfaces are believed to reduce the Leidenfrost point (TL)—the temperature at which this phenomenon occurs. Therefore, superhydrophobic surfaces are not commonly utilized in thermal machinery despite their benefits such as reducing frictional drag. Here, we demonstrate that it is possible to achieve superhydrophobicity without lowering TL by surface engineering and fine-tuning liquid–solid adhesion. We demonstrate that TL of water on superhydrophobic surfaces comprising doubly reentrant pillars (DRPs) can exceed that on hydrophilic and even superhydrophilic surfaces. Via theory and computation, we disentangle the contributions of microtexture, heat transfer, and surface chemistry on the onset of the Leidenfrost phenomenon. Remarkably, coating-free and superhydrophobic DRP architecture can facilitate ∼300% greater heat transfer to water droplets at 200 °C in comparison with conventional superhydrophobic surfaces. These findings advance our understanding of the Leidenfrost phenomenon and herald technological applications of superhydrophobic surfaces in thermal machinery.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)122104
JournalPhysics of Fluids
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2021

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-12-14
Acknowledgements: The co-authors acknowledge research funding from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST). M.S. thanks Professor Sigurdur Thoroddsen from KAUST and Professor Shangsheng Feng from Xi'an Jiaotong University for fruitful discussions.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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