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Atomic Scale Interfacial Transport at an Extended Evaporating Meniscus

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posted on 04.03.2019, 00:00 by Yigit Akkus, Anil Koklu, Ali Beskok
Recent developments in fabrication techniques have enabled the production of nano- and Ångström-scale conduits. While scientists are able to conduct experimental studies to demonstrate extreme evaporation rates from these capillaries, theoretical modeling of evaporation from a few nanometers or sub-nanometer meniscus interfaces, where the adsorbed film, the transition film, and the intrinsic region are intertwined, is absent in the literature. Using the computational setup constructed, we first identified the detailed profile of a nanoscale evaporating interface and then discovered the existence of lateral momentum transport within and associated net evaporation from adsorbed liquid layers, which are long believed to be at the equilibrium established between equal rates of evaporation and condensation. Contribution of evaporation from the adsorbed layer increases the effective evaporation area, reducing the excessively estimated evaporation flux values. This work takes the first step toward a comprehensive understanding of atomic/molecular scale interfacial transport at extended evaporating menisci. The modeling strategy used in this study opens an opportunity for computational experimentation of steady-state evaporation and condensation at liquid–vapor interfaces located in capillary nanoconduits.

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