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Keywords:

  • superhydrophobic surface;
  • dropwise condensation;
  • heterogeneous wettability;
  • hierarchical roughness
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

A surface with nanograssed micropyramidal arrays that allows for enhanced drop nucleation and departure simultaneously is successfully developed by harnessing the hierarchical roughness and heterogeneous wetting. On page 4617, Nikhil Koratkar, Shuhuai Yao, Zuankai Wang, and co-workers show that the surface yields a global superhydrophobity as well as local wettable patches (smooth structure). Synergistic co-operation between the hierarchical structure contributes directly to a continuous process of nucleation, coalescence, departure, and re-nucleation, enabling sustained drop-wise condensation over prolonged periods.