Evaporation of Concentrated Polymer Solutions is Insensitive to Relative Humidity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

A recent theory suggests that the evaporation kinetics of macromolecular solutions is insensitive to the ambient relative humidity (RH) due to the formation of a ‘polarisation layer’ of solutes at the air-solution interface. We confirm this insensitivity up to RH ≈ 80% in the evaporation of polyvinyl
alcohol solutions from open-ended capillaries. To explain the observed drop in evaporation rate at higher RH, we need to invoke compressive stresses due to interfacial polymer gelation. Moreover, RH-insensitive evaporation sets in earlier than theory predicts, suggesting a further role for a gelled ‘skin’. We discuss the relevance of these observations for respiratory virus transmission via aerosols.
Original languageEnglish
Article number248102
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • cond-mat.soft


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