This dissertation focuses on the effects of heating on superhydrophobic (SHPo) surfaces. The work is divided into two main categories: heat transfer without mass transfer and heat transfer in conjunction with mass transfer. Numerical methods are used to explore the prior while experimental methods are utilized for the latter. The numerical work explores convective heat transfer in SHPo parallel plate microchannels and is separated into two stand-alone chapters that have been published archivally. The first considers surfaces with a rib/cavity structure and the second considers surfaces patterned with a square lattice of square posts. Laminar, fully developed, steady flow with constant fluid properties is considered where the tops of the ribs and posts are maintained at a constant heat flux boundary condition and the gas/liquid interfaces are assumed to be adiabatic. For both surface configurations the overall convective heat transfer is reduced. Results are presented in the form of average Nusselt number as well as apparent temperature jump length (thermal slip length). The heat transfer reduction is magnified by increasing cavity fraction, decreasing Peclet number, and decreasing channel size relative to the micro-structure spacing. Axial fluid conduction is found to be substantial at high Peclet numbers where it is classically neglected. The parameter regimes where prior analytical works found in the literature are valid are delineated. The experimental work is divided into two stand-alone chapters with one considering channel flow and the other a pool scenario. The channel work considers high aspect ratio microchannels with one heated SHPo wall. If water saturated with dissolved air is used, the air-filled cavities of SHPo surfaces act as nucleation sites for mass transfer. As the water heats it becomes supersaturated and air can effervesce onto the SHPo surface forming bubbles that align to the underlying micro-structure if the cavities are comprised of closed cells. The large bubbles increase drag in the channel and reduce heat transfer. Once the bubbles grow large enough, they are expelled from the channel and the nucleation and growth cycle begins again. The pool work considers submerged, heated SHPo surfaces such that the nucleation behavior can be explored in the absence of forced fluid flow. The surface is maintained at a constant temperature and a range of temperatures (40 - 90 °C) are explored. Similar nucleation behavior to that of the microchannels is observed, however, the bubbles are not expelled. Natural convection coefficients are computed. The surfaces with the greatest amount of nucleation show a significant reduction in convection coefficient, relative to a smooth hydrophilic surface, due to the insulating bubble layer.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Mechanical Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





superhydrophobic, heat transfer, mass transfer, drag reduction, hydrodynamic slip length, temperature jump length, microchannel, bubble nucleation