Wettability difference induced out-of-plane unidirectional droplet transport for efficient fog harvesting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Securing freshwater resources is a global issue for ensuring sustainable development. Fog harvesting is attracting great attention as a method to collect water without any energy input. Previous reports that were inspired by insects and plants have given insights such as the effectiveness of in-plane wettability and structural differences for droplet transport, which might enhance artificial water harvesting efficiency. However, further efforts to transfer droplets while maintaining performance are needed because droplet motion owing to these effects is limited to the in-plane direction. In this study, we report droplet transport between three-dimensional copper wire structures with nanostructured hydrophobic and superhydrophilic features. This mechanism enhanced the fog harvesting capability by more than 20% compared with the cumulative value of individual wires. In addition, the relationship between the droplet height and spacing of wires affected the performance. Our results show the importance of out-of-plane directional droplet transport from the wire surface assisted by differences in wire wettability, which minimizes limiting factors of fog harvesting including clogging and droplet shedding. Furthermore, the proposed arrangement reduces the overall system width compared with that of a two-dimensional arrangement while maintaining the amount of harvested water. These results provide a promising approach to designing large-scale and highly efficient fog harvesters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35079-35085
Number of pages7
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Volume13
Issue number29
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 28 2021

Keywords

  • Fog harvesting
  • Projected area
  • Unidirectional droplet transport
  • Vertical copper wires
  • Wettability difference

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)

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