Controlling the condensation of vapor by electric field: A molecular dynamics simulation study

PY Wang and BZ Min and L Wei and XY Chen and ZQ Wang and Z Chen and SZ Li, APPLIED SURFACE SCIENCE, 605, 154805 (2022).

DOI: 10.1016/j.apsusc.2022.154805

In this study, the initial stages of the condensation processes of water vapor under a series of constant electric fields and alternative electric fields parallel to the surface are carried out by molecular dynamics simulation. The results show that under a constant electric field, the rearrangement of water molecular structure induced by electric field leads to cluster deformation, and the change of diffusion rate leads to the condensation efficiency to increase first and then decrease with the increase of the applied electric field. Compared with the one without applied field, the condensation efficiency can be doubled under the applied filed of 0.8 V/nm. Further increase of the applied field to 5.0 V/nm, nearly no condensation occurs. Under an alternative electric field, water molecules are unable to respond to the field variation at increased electric field frequency, which leads to reduced cluster deformation. The condensation efficiency of water molecules decreases with the increase of alternative electric field frequency. Meanwhile, the increase of alternating electric field frequency significantly prolongs the nucleation time and increases the critical nucleus size. The results indicate that the electric field can be a new avenue to regulate the condensation of vapor towards more efficient water collection and heat transfer.

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