Acoustothermal Atomization of Water Nanofilms

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We report nonequilibrium molecular simulations of the vibration-induced heating of nanoscale-thick water layers on a metal substrate. In addition to experimentally confirmed acoustothermal evaporation, we observe hitherto unmapped nucleate and film boiling regimes, accompanied by the generation of unprecedented heat fluxes [∼O(109)  W/m2]. We develop a universal scaling parameter to classify the heat-transfer regimes and to predict the thickness of the residual nonevaporating liquid layer. The results find broad application to systems involving drying, coatings, and sprays.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104502
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number10
Early online date7 Sep 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Sep 2018


  • instability of free-surface flows
  • Nanofluidics
  • noncontinuum effects in nanoscale flows
  • nanobubbles
  • thin fluid films


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