2015 年 81 巻 823 号 p. 14-00495
Water condensation on a hydrophobic surface with nanoscale hydrophilic regions was investigated to reveal the condensation mechanism of submicron-scale droplets. This feature was found on the graphite step-terrace structured surface; step surfaces are more wettable relative to terrace surfaces, and it was precisely characterized using an atomic force microscope. Condensation experiments were conducted using an environmental scanning electron microscope and droplets were observed to line up on preferentially along the graphite steps. Observed droplets ranged from 150 to 300 nm in diameter and the droplet interval depends on the width of hydrophobic region. The heterogeneous nucleation theory was extended to consider attracted water molecules on hydrophilic step surface, which enable us to explain the current observed result under unsaturated condition. As a result, proposed theory shows qualitatively that narrower hydrophobic region induces short droplet interval. Our suggestion for design the hybrid hydrophilic-hydrophobic surface would enable the development of surface that will perform high heat transfer at dropwise condensation.