Despite that using surface-roughness-induced superhydrophobic surface as a solution for ice/snow accretion issues has achieved extensive progresses, its icephobicity breaks down in case of condensation frosting, while the high aspect ratio structure brings more concerns on its durability and sustainability. In this work we investigated condensate frosting on substrates fabricated with patterned micropillars having a small aspect ratio, and studied the freezing propagation with different pattern sizes. The results show that a coarse patterned substrate can effectively suppress the freeing propagation while a fine patterned one can drastically promote the freezing propagation. Frost coverage can also be reduced with proper pattern design. A theoretical model was developed to explain the mechanism of surface ice propagation, and agrees well in tendency with experiment measurements. The aim of this study is to provide some new insights on the influence of surface morphology on ice growth.

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