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  1. Abstract The synthesis of nanostructured surfaces via block copolymer (BCP) self-assembly enables a precise control of the surface feature shape within a range of dimensions of the order of tens of nanometers. This work studies how to exploit this ability to control the wetting hysteresis and liquid adhesion forces as the substrate undergoes chemical aging and changes in its intrinsic wettability. Via BCP self-assembly we fabricate nanostructured surfaces on silicon substrates with a hexagonal array of regular conical pillars having a fixed period (52 nm) and two different heights (60 and 200 nm), which results in substantially different lateral and top surface areas of the nanostructure. The wetting hysteresis of the fabricated surfaces is characterized using force–displacement measurements under quasistaic conditions and over sufficiently long periods of time for which the substrate chemistry and surface energy, characterized by the Young contact angle, varies significantly. The experimental results and theoretical analysis indicate that controlling the lateral and top area of the nanostructure not only controls the degree of wetting hysteresis but can also make the advancing and receding contact angles less susceptible to chemical aging. These results can help rationalize the design of nanostructured surfaces for different applications such as self-cleaning,more »enhanced heat transfer, and drag reduction in micro/nanofluidic devices.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available August 23, 2023
  2. Understanding the current response at an electrode from suspended solid particles in an electrolyte is crucial for developing materials to be used in semi-solid electrodes for energy storage applications. Here, an analytical model is proposed to predict and understand the current response from non-disintegrable solid particles at a rotating disk electrode. The current is shown to be limited by a combination of ion diffusion within the solid particle and the mean residence time of the particle at the rotating disk electrode. This results in a relationship between current and angular frequency ofIω3/4,instead of the classicalIω1/2predicted by Levich theory. Specifically, the current response of Li4Ti5O12(LTO) microparticles suspended in a non-aqueous electrolyte of lithium hexafluorophosphate (LiPF6) in ethylene carbonate: diethyl carbonate (EC:DEC) was determined experimentally and compared favorably with predictions from the proposed analytical model using fitting parameters consistent with the experimental conditions.

  3. Abstract

    In this work, we study the spontaneous spreading of water droplets immersed in oil and report an unexpectedly slow kinetic regime not described by previous spreading models. We can quantitatively describe the observed regime crossover and spreading rate in the late kinetic regime with an analytical model considering the presence of periodic metastable states induced by nanoscale topographic features (characteristic area ~4 nm2, height ~1 nm) observed via atomic force microscopy. The analytical model proposed in this work reveals that certain combinations of droplet volume and nanoscale topographic parameters can significantly hinder or promote wetting processes such as spreading, wicking, and imbibition.