Characterization of the Wettability of Thin Nanostructured Films in the Presence of Evaporation

Rogacs, A., Steinbrenner, J.E., Rowlette, J.A., Weisse J.M., Zheng, X.L.L., Goodson, K.E., 2010, "Characterization of the Wettability of Thin Nanostructured Films in the Presence of Evaporation," Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, Vol. 349, pp. 354-360.

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Vapor chambers using conventional porous membrane wicks offer limited heat transfer rates for a given thickness. This limitation can be addressed through wick nanostructuring, which promises high capillary pressures and precise control of the local porosity. This work develops a measurement technique for the wettability of nanostructured wicks based on optical imaging. Feasibility is demonstrated on a hydrophilic silicon nanowire array (SiNW) synthesized using the Vapor–Liquid–Solid (VLS) growth mechanism followed by surface plasma treatment. The wettability is determined by comparing the time-dependent liquid interface rise with a model that accounts for capillary, viscous, and gravitational forces and for evaporation. This model is demonstrated to be useful in extracting internal contact angle from thin porous films.

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