The dynamic behavior of impinging water droplets is studied in the context of varying surface wettability and wickability on smooth and nanostructured superhydrophilic surfaces. This study distinguishes the separate effects of wetting (contact angle), wickability, and inertia on the spreading and vaporization of water droplets deposited on nanoporous surfaces by considering experimental results in tandem with axisymmetric, volume of fluid (VOF) simulations of droplet spreading. High speed videos were obtained for water droplets spreading on nanoporous surfaces which exhibit very low (< 15°) contact angle and high wickability. In this study, the effect of wickability was assessed by comparing the experimental results, which include the low contact angle and high wickability effects, to predictions of the VOF model, which include only the ultralow contact angle. While a droplet touched to the nanostructured surface demonstrates spreading driven by wicking, droplets which hit the surface with a non-zero impact velocity demonstrate spreading characteristics similar to the smooth surface, which are driven by inertia and ultra-low contact angle. The presence of the nanoporous layer impacts the equilibrium position of the contact line and the final spread radius changes with impact velocity on the nanostructured surface. These results provide fundamental input for modeling of spray cooling systems with nanostructured surfaces.

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