STTR Phase I: Condensation on Gradient Surfaces

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 0740350
Agency Tracking Number: 0740350
Amount: $149,569.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: AM
Solicitation Number: NSF 07-551
Solicitation Year: N/A
Award Year: 2008
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
1046 New Holland Avenue, Lancaster, PA, 17601
DUNS: 126288336
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Richard Bonner
 (717) 295-6058
Business Contact
 Richard Bonner
Title: MS
Phone: (717) 295-6058
Research Institution
 Lehigh University
 Manoj Chaudhury
 27 Memorial Drive, West
Bethlehem, PA, 18015
 (717) 295-6058
 Nonprofit college or university
This Small Business Technology Transfer Phase I project will undertake innovative heat transfer research involving dropwise condensation on a wettability gradient. Dropwise condensation alone has shown the ability to increase condensation heat transfer coefficients by an order of magnitude over film condensation, typical of vertical thermosyphons. Droplets condensing on a gradient surface experience different contact angles, causing the droplets to accelerate to high velocities in the direction of increased wettability. The difference in contact angle on opposite sides of the condensing droplets is due to locally varying properties of the condensing surface, controlled by varying surface concentrations of molecules with low surface energy. The higher droplet velocities caused by condensing on the gradient surface further increases the heat transfer coefficient over typical dropwise condensation. Furthermore, the gradient surface does not require gravity to remove liquid from the condensing surface enabling dropwise condensation heat transfer coefficient values on horizontal surfaces and in microgravity applications. The broader impact/commercial potential from this project is that the technology will have the ability to impact heat transfer solutions in various commercial applications where the ability to dissipate more power is parallel to better performance. In the computer processing industry, solutions for notebook computers and servers are becoming increasingly limited by the thermal solution. In micro-gravity environments a gradient surface will replace or enhance the capillary forces currently used in heat pipe devices, such as axially grooved heat pipes and loop heats for spacecraft applications. There is already a demand for higher capacity thermal solutions, and this demand will only increase as commercial companies and government agencies expand their capabilities and demand greater thermal dissipation. This research will further the fundamental understanding of liquid movements due to surface gradients and similar Marangoni flows. Uses of similar Marangoni flows, such as temperature gradient induced flows, are currently the focus of many studies regarding fluid pumping in microfluidic applications.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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