Investigating the effects of solid surfaces on ice nucleation
Date of Issue2012
School of Materials Science and Engineering
Understanding the role played by solid surfaces in ice nucleation is a significant step toward designing anti-icing surfaces. However, the uncontrollable impurities in water and surface heterogeneities remain a great challenge for elucidating the effects of surfaces on ice nucleation. Via a designed process of evaporation, condensation, and subsequent ice formation in a closed cell, we investigate the ice nucleation of ensembles of condensed water microdroplets on flat, solid surfaces with completely different wettabilities. The water microdroplets formed on flat, solid surfaces by an evaporation and condensation process exclude the uncontrollable impurities in water, and the effects of surface heterogeneities can be minimized through studying the freezing of ensembles of separate and independent water microdroplets. It is found that the normalized surface ice nucleation rate on a hydrophilic surface is about 1 order of magnitude lower than that on a hydrophobic surface. This is ascribed to the difference in the viscosity of interfacial water and the surface roughness.
© 2012 American Chemical Society.