Molecular dynamics simulation of bubble nucleation in hydrophilic nanochannels by surface heating

M Gupta and SC Maroo, MOLECULAR SIMULATION, 48, 1356-1361 (2022).

DOI: 10.1080/08927022.2022.2092616

Bubble nucleation in liquid confined in nanochannel is studied using molecular dynamics simulations and compared against nucleation in the liquid over smooth surfaces (i.e. without confinement). Nucleation in liquid argon is achieved by heating part of a platinum surface to high temperatures using a surface-to-liquid heating algorithm implemented in LAMMPS. The surface hydrophilicity of nanochannels is increased to understand its effect on nucleation behaviour. Liquid structuring is found to play a significant role in altering thermodynamic properties of density and pressure in the nanochannels, which in turn changes the enthalpy of vaporisation. Increased surface hydrophilicity in nanochannels results in the delay of bubble formation as more energy is required for nucleation. Thus, delayed bubble nucleation in hydrophilic nanochannels can dissipate higher heat fluxes and can potentially be used for the thermal management of hot spots in power electronics.

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