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3 Atomistic Modeling of Dropwise Condensation 33 Fig. 12 (a) Variation of the minimum drop radius with diffusion constant D at three different deposition rate F. (b) Variation of the minimum drop radius with deposition rate F at two different values of diffusion constant D The sensitivity of the drop size to the diffusion parameter D and the impinging flux F are shown in Fig. 12a, b. The minimum drop size is seen to increase with D as well as F, though the change is not substantial. For an increase of 4 orders of magnitude in the diffusion coefficient, the minimum drop radius increases by a factor of about 2.

Their results indicate that no film greater than monolayer thickness existes between the droplets, and no condensation can take place in these areas. Further evidence of nonexistence of a condensate film between droplets was furnished by Ivanovskii et al. (1967), using a different fluid. By measuring the electrical resistance between the two electrodes embedded in a glass surface on which dropwise condensation of mercury was taking place, they concluded that no thin condensate layer existed between droplets.

The nucleation sites are randomly distributed on the substrate and all the sites are initially occupied by the drops of smallest radius—namely, the maximum size of a stable cluster) in the atomistic model. The subsequent steps that follow are growth by direct condensation, coalescence, instability, drop motion, and computation of transport coefficients for sliding drops. The model as a whole yields the instantaneous drop size distribution, instantaneous rate of growth of drops, area of coverage by drops, frequency of drop slide/fall-off, and local and average heat transfer coefficient over inclined surfaces.

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