Novel algorithm simulates water evaporation at the nanoscale

October 16, 2015

We are all familiar with boiling a pot of water--flame from a stove heats the base of a metal pot, the metal transfers the heat to the water, and the temperature goes up and up until the water boils. Professor Shalabh Maroo and graduate student Sumith YD are looking closer -- much closer. They are looking at heat transfer in water at the nanoscale, where the heat from the pot's atoms transfers to the atoms that make up water.

The evaporation of water that occurs when it meets a hot surface is understood in continuum theory and in experimentation. Before now, researchers were unable to study it at nanoscales in molecular simulation. YD and Maroo's algorithm has made that possible, and their paper, "Surface-Heating Algorithm for Water at Nanoscale," has garnished notable attention in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters.

Within their paper, the pair details their development of a new algorithm that simulates the evaporation of water at the molecular scale that matches theoretical, numerical, and real-world observations. In doing so, the team has provided a molecular dynamics tool that allows for the study of various heat transfer problems at the nanoscale, including understanding and utilizing passive liquid flows.

"By capturing realistic differential thermal gradients in water heated at the surface, our algorithm can be an incredibly valuable tool for studying a range of heating and cooling problems. It's also simple enough to be easily integrated into various molecular simulation software and user codes," describes Maroo.

This research is part of Maroo's CAREER award research, in which he is investigating the fundamental physics associated with nanoscale meniscus evaporation and passive liquid flow to remove large amounts of heat from small surfaces in very short amounts of time. This work aims to provide rapid and efficient cooling of next-generation computer chips and energy conversion devices.
-end-
Additional information about Maroo's research group can be found on his lab's website -- http://maroo.syr.edu.

Syracuse University

Related Nanoscale Articles from Brightsurf:

Nanoscale machines convert light into work
Researchers have developed a tiny new machine that converts laser light into work.

Discovery will allow more sophisticated work at nanoscale
The movement of fluids through small capillaries and channels is crucial for processes ranging from blood flow through the brain to power generation and electronic cooling systems, but that movement often stops when the channel is smaller than 10 nanometers.

Valley-Hall nanoscale lasers
Topological photonics allows the creation of new states of light.

Dynamics of DNA replication revealed at the nanoscale
Using super-resolution technology a University of Technology Sydney led team has directly visualised the process of DNA replication in single human cells.

House cleaning on the nanoscale
A team of scientists at Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) has developed a novel mechanical cleaning method for surfaces on the nanoscale.

As electronics shrink to nanoscale, will they still be good as gold?
As circuit interconnects shrink to nanoscale, will the pressure caused by thermal expansion when current flows through wires cause gold to behave more like a liquid than a solid -- making nanoelectronics unreliable?

A joint venture at the nanoscale
Scientists at Argonne National Laboratory report fabricating and testing a superconducting nanowire device applicable to high-speed photon counting.

Bending diamond at the nanoscale
A team of Australian scientists has discovered diamond can be bent and deformed, at the nanoscale at least.

Creating a nanoscale on-off switch for heat
Researchers create a polymer thermal regulator that can quickly transform from a conductor to an insulator, and back again.

Magnetic tuning at the nanoscale
Physicists from the German research center Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) are working to produce engineered magnetic nanostructures and to tailor material properties at the nanoscale.

Read More: Nanoscale News and Nanoscale Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.