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Dynamics and Control of Breath Figures (DaC of BreF)
Start date: 01 Sep 2008, End date: 15 Oct 2010 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"In this project, we aim to study, mainly experimentally, the dynamics of the commonly known ""breath figures"", which are the patterns appearing due to dew condensation onto cold surfaces. The breath figures, and their dynamics depend mostly on the interaction between the substrate (either a solid or a liquid) and the condensing compounds in a specific environment. The first objective of the proposal consists on to study the influence of the hydrophilic/phobic character in the growth dynamics and morphology of the breath figures. Specifically, their behavior in the case of super-hydrophobic surfaces will allow us to focus on dynamical self-cleaning assisted by breath figure formation. This is a subject of much technological interest. The second objective will deal with the spatial dependence of the breath figures appearing on non-symmetric heterogeneous substrates (small hydrophilic areas surrounded by large hydrophobic ones). This will help us to understand the mechanisms which are not directly related to the contact angle, i.e. the heat and mass transfer and the environmental flows. All the issues related to heat transfer also own much applied interest, apart from their fundamental one. The third objective is to study the competition of two immiscible condensing fluids into the breath figure formation. We will focus mainly on the kinetics, as well as on the symmetries of the pattern formed, when the condensation rates of the two fluids are of the same order. The last objective will characterize the influence of controlled convection of the (liquid) substrate into the dew patterns formed. The objectives of the proposal will shed light on this subject under unexplored conditions yet, which will give us the correct clues in order to understand the condensation processes much better. This should also allow to control the breath figures, which is a major challenge for applications and for the physics behind this subject."
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