ABSTRACT: The common phenomenon of buoyancy-induced vapor bubble lift-off from a heated surface is of importance to many areas of science and technology. In the absence of buoyancy in zero gravity of space, non-departing bubbles coalesce to form a big dry patch on the heated surface and heat transfer deteriorates despite the high latent heat of vaporization of water. The situation is worse on an inverted heater in earth gravity where both buoyancy and surface tension act upwards to oppose bubble removal. Here we report a robust passive technique which uses surfactants found in common soaps and detergents to avoid coalescence and remove bubbles downwards, away from an inverted heater. A force balance model is developed to demonstrate that the force of repulsion resulting from the interaction of surfactants adsorbed at the neighboring liquid-vapor interfaces of the thin liquid film contained between bubbles is strong enough to overcome buoyancy and surface tension. Bubble removal frequencies in excess of ten Hz resulted in more than twofold enhancement in heat transfer in comparison to pure water. We believe that this novel bubble removal mechanism opens up opportunities for designing boiling-based systems for space applications.
Project description:Here, we demonstrate that heat removed in pool boiling from a heater mimicking high-power microelectronics could be used to facilitate a swing-like motion of the heater before being finally dissipated. This swing-like motion could be beneficial for shedding a large vapor bubble that encapsulates high-power heaters in microgravity where buoyancy force is unavailable for vapor bubble removal. The swing-like motion is propelled by vapor bubble recoil, the force which exists irrespective of gravity and buoyancy. We also demonstrate that this force could be significantly enhanced by depositing on the heater surface supersonically blown polymer nanofibers with cross-sectional diameters below 100?nm. These nanofibers provide additional nucleation sites, resulting in much more frequent bubble nucleation and departure, and thus a higher overall vapor recoil force propelling the heater motion. Such nanofibers strongly adhere to the heater surface and withstand prolonged harsh pool boiling. The measured velocity of the model swing-like heater in Novec 7300 fluid is about 1?cm/s.
Project description:Today's trends for enhancing boiling heat transfer in terrestrial and space applications focus on removal of bubbles to prevent formation of a vapor layer over the surface at high overheat. In contrast, this paper presents a new boiling regime that employs a vapor-air bubble residing on a small heater for minutes and driving cold water over the surface to provide high heat flux. Single-bubble boiling of water was investigated under normal gravity and low gravity in parabolic flights. Experiments demonstrated a negligible effect of gravity level on the rate of heat transfer from the heater. Due to self-adjustment of the bubble size, the heat flux provided by boiling rose linearly up with increasing heater temperature and was not affected by a gradually rising water temperature. The fast response and stable operation of single-bubble boiling over a broad range of temperatures pave the way for development of new devices to control heat transfer by forming surface domains with distinct thermal properties and wettability. The bubble lifetime can be adjusted by changing the water temperature. The ability of heating water on millimeter scales far above 100?°C without an autoclave or a powerful laser provides a new approach for processing of biomaterials and chemical reactions.
Project description:Boiling--a process that has powered industries since the steam age--is governed by bubble formation. State-of-the-art boiling surfaces often increase bubble nucleation via roughness and/or wettability modification to increase performance. However, without active in situ control of bubbles, temperature or steam generation cannot be adjusted for a given heat input. Here we report the ability to turn bubbles 'on and off' independent of heat input during boiling both temporally and spatially via molecular manipulation of the boiling surface. As a result, we can rapidly and reversibly alter heat transfer performance up to an order of magnitude. Our experiments show that this active control is achieved by electrostatically adsorbing and desorbing charged surfactants to alter the wettability of the surface, thereby affecting nucleation. This approach can improve performance and flexibility in existing boiling technologies as well as enable emerging or unprecedented energy applications.
Project description:The nipple array is a submicrometre-scale structure found on the cuticle surfaces of various invertebrate taxa. Corneal nipples are an antiglare surface in nocturnal insects, but the functional significance of the nipple array has not been experimentally investigated for aquatic organisms. Using nanopillar sheets as a mimetic model of the nipple array, we demonstrated that significantly fewer bubbles adhered to the nanopillar surface versus a flat surface when the sheets were hydrophilic. Many more bubbles adhered to the hydrophobic surface than the hydrophilic surfaces. Bubbles on the body surface may cause buoyancy problems, movement interference and water flow occlusion. Here, bubble repellence is proposed as a function of the hydrophilic nipple array in aquatic invertebrates and its properties are considered based on bubble adhesion energy.
Project description:Whereas bubble growth out of gas-oversatured solutions has been quite well understood, including the formation and stability of surface nanobubbles, this is not the case for bubbles forming on catalytic surfaces due to catalytic reactions, though it has important implications for gas evolution reactions and self-propulsion of micro/nanomotors fueled by bubble release. In this work we have filled this gap by experimentally and theoretically examining the growth and detachment dynamics of oxygen bubbles from hydrogen peroxide decomposition catalyzed by gold. We measured the bubble radius R(t) as a function of time by confocal microscopy and find R(t) ? t1/2. This diffusive growth behavior demonstrates that the bubbles grow from an oxygen-oversaturated environment. For several consecutive bubbles detaching from the same position in a short period of time, a well-repeated growing behavior is obtained from which we conclude the absence of noticeable depletion effect of oxygen from previous bubbles or increasing oversaturation from the gas production. In contrast, for two bubbles far apart either in space or in time, substantial discrepancies in their growth rates are observed, which we attribute to the variation in the local gas oversaturation. The current results show that the dynamical evolution of bubbles is influenced by comprehensive effects combining chemical catalysis and physical mass transfer. Finally, we find that the size of the bubbles at the moment of detachment is determined by the balance between buoyancy and surface tension and by the detailed geometry at the bubble's contact line.
Project description:Mezcal is a traditional Mexican spirit, obtained from the distillation of fermented agave juices. Its preparation has been conducted for centuries in an artisanal manner. The method used to determine the correct alcohol content is of particular interest: a stream of the liquor is poured into a small vessel to induce surface bubbles. These bubbles, known as pearls by the Mezcal artisans, remain stable for tenths of seconds only if the alcohol content is close to 50%. For higher or lower alcohol content, the bubbles burst rapidly. The long bubble lifetime is the result of surfactant-induced surface tension changes. However, the precise mechanism and its relation to alcohol content remain unexplained. In this investigation, the extended lifetime of pearls was studied both experimentally and numerically. It was found that changes in surface tension, density, viscosity (resulting from mixing ethanol and water), and the presence of surfactants are all relevant to extend the bubble lifetime. The dimensionless bubble lifetime was found to reach its maximum value when the Bond number was close to unity, corresponding to 2 mm Mezcal bubbles. These findings show that the traditional empirical method does work. Beyond this, the understanding of the process provides physical insight to many other natural and industrial problems for which the stability of surface bubbles is of importance, such as bio-foams, froth floatation, and volcanic flows.
Project description:The control of underwater bubble behavior on a solid surface has great research significance. However, the control of the spontaneous directional transport and collection of numerous underwater bubbles remains a challenge. A new technique of a metal mesh with superhydrophobic/hydrophobic properties is demonstrated here, which creates a wettability gradient coupled with a microporous array by means of pulsed fiber laser ablation and chemical modification of the aluminum sheet. The resultant wettability surface effectively achieved the spontaneous movement of bubbles along the directional wettability gradient (superaerophobicity to aerophilicity) and through the metal mesh (aerophilicity to superaerophilicity) in the direction of decreasing free energy. Theoretical analysis accounted first for the spontaneous sliding of bubbles on the wettability gradient surface as a result of the action of an unbalanced surface tension force and second for the spontaneous transition of bubbles from the aerophilic to superaerophilic side as a result of the combined action of Laplace pressure and buoyancy. A device with the capability of directional transportation and collection of underwater bubbles was designed based on the samples with a wettability gradient and a superhydrophobic/hydrophobic microporous array as the core components. The potential application is laser ablation of wettability gradient surfaces and metal mesh with superhydrophobic/hydrophobic properties for directional transportation and collection of underwater bubbles.
Project description:Nanostructured cellulose fabric with an air-bubble-enhanced anti-oil fouling property is introduced for quick oil-cleaning by water even with the surface fouled by oil before water contact under a dry state. It is very challenging to recover the super-hydrophilicity because once the surface is oil-fouled, it is hard to be re-wetted by water. Anti-oil-fouling under a dry state was realized through two main features of the nanostructured, porous fabric: a low solid fraction with high-aspect-ratio nanostructures significantly increasing the retracting forces, and trapped multiscale air bubbles increasing the buoyancy and backpressure for an oil-layer rupture. The nanostructures were formed on cellulose-based rayon microfibers through selective etching with oxygen plasma, forming a nanoscale open-pore structure. Viscous crude oil fouled on a fabric under a dry state was cleaned by immersion into water owing to a higher water affinity of the rayon material and low solid fraction of the high-aspect-ratio nanostructures. Air bubbles trapped in dry porous fibers and nanostructures promote oil detachment from the fouled sites. The macroscale bubbles add buoyancy on top of the oil droplets, enhancing the oil receding at the oil-water-solid interface, whereas the relatively smaller microscale bubbles induce a backpressure underneath the oil droplets. The oil-proofing fabric was used for protecting underwater conductive sensors, allowing a robot fish to swim freely in oily water.
Project description:Metal nanoparticles under laser irradiation can produce enormous heat due to surface plasmon resonance. When submerged in a liquid, this can lead to the nucleation of plasmonic bubbles. In the very early stage, the nucleation of a giant vapor bubble was observed with an ultrahigh-speed camera. In this study, the formation of this giant bubble on gold nanoparticles in six binary liquid combinations has been investigated. We find that the time delay between the beginning of the laser heating and the bubble nucleation is determined by the absolute amount of dissolved gas in the liquid. Moreover, the bubble volume mainly depends on the vaporization energy of the liquid, consisting of the latent heat of vaporization and the energy needed to reach the boiling temperature. Our results contribute to controlling the initial giant bubble nucleation and have strong bearings on applications of such bubbles.
Project description:Due to its high heat removal capability and exploitation of latent heat, boiling is considered to be one of the most effective cooling methods in industry. Surface structure and wettability are two factors imposing boiling phenomena. Here, we propose an effective and facile method for surface enhancement via crenarchaeon Sulfolobus Solfataricus P2 bio-coatings. The positive effects of such surfaces of bio-coatings were assessed, and enhancements in heat transfer and cooling were obtained. Visualization was also performed, and bubble dynamics of generated bubbles and vapor columns from the tested surfaces with bio-coatings are here presented. Superior performance in terms of boiling heat transfer and cooling was reached with the use of crenarchaeon Sulfolobus Solfataricus P2 coated surfaces. Thus, this study clearly demonstrates the potential of futuristic surfaces with bio-coatings to achieve substantial energy saving and efficiency.