Navigation Links
On the boil: New nano technique significantly boosts boiling efficiency
Date:6/26/2008

Troy, N.Y. Whoever penned the old adage "a watched pot never boils" surely never tried to heat up water in a pot lined with copper nanorods.

A new study from researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute shows that by adding an invisible layer of the nanomaterials to the bottom of a metal vessel, an order of magnitude less energy is required to bring water to boil. This increase in efficiency could have a big impact on cooling computer chips, improving heat transfer systems, and reducing costs for industrial boiling applications.

"Like so many other nanotechnology and nanomaterials breakthroughs, our discovery was completely unexpected," said Nikhil A. Koratkar, associate professor in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering at Rensselaer, who led the project. "The increased boiling efficiency seems to be the result of an interesting interplay between the nanoscale and microscale surfaces of the treated metal. The potential applications for this discovery are vast and exciting, and we're eager to continue our investigations into this phenomenon."

Bringing water to a boil, and the related phase change that transforms the liquid into vapor, requires an interface between the water and air. In the example of a pot of water, two such interfaces exist: at the top where the water meets air, and at the bottom where the water meets tiny pockets of air trapped in the microscale texture and imperfections on the surface of the pot. Even though most of the water inside of the pot has reached 100 degrees Celsius and is at boiling temperature, it cannot boil because it is surrounded by other water molecules and there is no interface i.e., no air present to facilitate a phase change.

Bubbles are typically formed when air is trapped inside a microscale cavity on the metal surface of a vessel, and vapor pressure forces the bubble to the top of the vessel. As this bubble nucleation takes place, water floods the microscale cavity, which in turn prevents any further nucleation from occurring at that specific site.

Koratkar and his team found that by depositing a layer of copper nanorods on the surface of a copper vessel, the nanoscale pockets of air trapped within the forest of nanorods "feed" nanobubbles into the microscale cavities of the vessel surface and help to prevent them from getting flooded with water. This synergistic coupling effect promotes robust boiling and stable bubble nucleation, with large numbers of tiny, frequently occurring bubbles.

"By themselves, the nanoscale and microscale textures are not able to facilitate good boiling, as the nanoscale pockets are simply too small and the microscale cavities are quickly flooded by water and therefore single-use," Koratkar said. "But working together, the multiscale effect allows for significantly improved boiling. We observed a 30-fold increase in active bubble nucleation site density a fancy term for the number of bubbles created on the surface treated with copper nanotubes, over the nontreated surface."

Boiling is ultimately a vehicle for heat transfer, in that it moves energy from a heat source to the bottom of a vessel and into the contained liquid, which then boils, and turns into vapor that eventually releases the heat into the atmosphere. This new discovery allows this process to become significantly more efficient, which could translate into considerable efficiency gains and cost savings if incorporated into a wide range of industrial equipment that relies on boiling to create heat or steam.

"If you can boil water using 30 times less energy, that's 30 times less energy you have to pay for," he said.

The team's discovery could also revolutionize the process of cooling computer chips. As the physical size of chips has shrunk significantly over the past two decades, it has become increasingly critical to develop ways to cool hot spots and transfer lingering heat away from the chip. This challenge has grown more prevalent in recent years, and threatens to bottleneck the semiconductor industry's ability to develop smaller and more powerful chips.

Boiling is a potential heat transfer technique that can be used to cool chips, Koratkar said, so depositing copper nanorods onto the copper interconnects of chips could lead to new innovations in heat transfer and dissipation for semiconductors.

"Since computer interconnects are already made of copper, it should be easy and inexpensive to treat those components with a layer of copper nanorods," Koratkar said, noting that his group plans to further pursue this possibility.


'/>"/>

Contact: Michael Mullaney
mullam@rpi.edu
518-276-6161
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology technology :

1. New technique producing small things in large quantities
2. New DNA-based technique for assembly of nano- and micro-sized particles
3. NIH Announces Advanced Cell Technologys Single Cell Embryo Biopsy Technique as a Means to Derive Embryonic Stem Cells to be Considered for Federal Funding
4. New technique can be breakthrough for early cancer diagnosis
5. University of Leicester scientists discover technique to help friendly bacteria
6. Glycominds Joins Biomolecular Photonic (BMP) Consortium to Develop New Molecular Imaging Technique
7. Doping technique brings nanomechanical devices into the semiconductor world
8. Cardica and Intuitive Surgical to Host Educational Symposium on Advanced Techniques and Technologies in Robotic Coronary Revascularization and Mitral Valve Repair
9. DNA technique yields 3-D crystalline organization of nanoparticles
10. Unique infrared technique finds applications in nanoscience
11. Assembly technique for tiny wires may eventually help detect cancer and other diseases
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
On the boil: New nano technique significantly boosts boiling efficiency
(Date:12/9/2016)... , December 9, 2016 According to ... Services (Primer, Probe, Custom, Predesigned, Reagent Equipment), Application (Research, PCR, Gene, ... to 2021" published by MarketsandMarkets, the global market is expected to ... 2016, at a CAGR of 10.6% during the forecast period. ... ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) , ... December 08, 2016 ... ... fan engagement platforms, the business of innovation is taking over sports. On Thursday, ... executive will explore how technology is disrupting the playing field at a Smart ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... ... December 08, 2016 , ... The ability ... optogenetics — is key to exciting advances in the study and mapping of ... projected via free-space optics stimulates small, transparent organisms and excites neurons within superficial ...
(Date:12/8/2016)... , ... December 08, 2016 , ... ... bioInformatics portal. In response to client demand KbioBox developed a sophisticated “3 click” ... program. Both are accessible from KBioBox’s new website, https://www.kbiobox.com/ and ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:12/6/2016)... -- Valencell , the leading innovator in performance ... third consecutive year of triple digit growth for its ... a 360 percent increase in companies who have acquired ... by sales of its wrist and ear Benchmark™ sensor ... for hearables for fitness and healthcare applications. ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... 2016 The report "Biometric Vehicle ... Technology (Iris Recognition System), Vehicle Type (Passenger Car, ... to 2021", published by MarketsandMarkets, the market is ... and is projected to grow to USD 854.8 ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160303/792302) ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... , Nov. 30, 2016  higi SH llc ... partnership initiative targeting national brands, industry thought-leaders and ... their respective audiences for taking steps to live ... inception in 2012, higi has built the largest ... over 38 million people who have conducted over ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):