The water condensation is important for wide range of industrial systems such as condensers and heat exchangers of steam power plants and refrigerators. The condensation generally has two patterns; filmwise condensation (FWC) and drop-wise condensation (DWC). DWC has one-tenth higher heat transfer coefficient than that of FWC. It has been pointed out by many investigators that DWC occurs on the hydrophobic surface and FWC occurs on hydrophilic surface. However, the durability of those hydrophobic effects was not clear enough. In order to maintain a sufficiently long DWC, it is important to understand the effect of the surface property and structure on the condensation surface in more detail. The recent advancement of MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical System) technology enables us to change the physical nature the surface in the micro scale. It is expected that the hydrophobic surface by the MEMS technology may kept DWC for a longer time. In the present paper, we experimentally investigate the effects of thin metal film and micro structured surface on condensation pattern. Especially, our condensation experiments were performed with the micro structured surfaces by using etching and the metal thin film surfaces by sputtering for approximately 24 hours. Silicon (Si) wafer was used as a basic surface. For the metal thin films surface, we used sputtered Lead (Pb) and Titanium (Ti) on Si surface. For the micro structured surfaces, micro-structured grid was etched on Si surface with several conditions. In order to obtain the relation between the condensation pattern and surface condition, the surface conditions were measured by laser micro-scope, contact angle meter and atomic force microscope (AFM).
For the metal thin films surface, condensation patterns on thin Pb film surface showed DWC. Meanwhile, condensation patterns on thin Ti surfaces showed FWC. From our results, the adsorption forces decreased with increasing contact angle on DWC for Pb. On the other hand, the adsorption forces increased with decreasing contact angle on FWC for Ti. For the micro structured surfaces, condensation pattern was FWC and contact angle decreased in our experimental results. This is because that the condensed water is accumulated in the groove on the micro structure surface.