Could Use of Soft Surfaces Augment Onset of Nucleate Boiling?

Konrad Rykaczewski, Akshay Phadnis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This work uses elementary theoretical arguments to estimate whether softening of the surface could be used, along with surface texture and chemistry, to control superheat required for onset of nucleate boiling. For an ideal, smooth surface a mild decrease of the required superheat is predicted. In turn, an approximate closed-form model of vapor trapping and bubble seeding from soft surface with conical cavities shows linear dependence between the required superheat and the substrate’s shear modulus. Based on these results, considerations involved in implementing soft coatings for boiling applications and relevant outstanding fundamental questions are also briefly discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)230-238
Number of pages9
JournalNanoscale and Microscale Thermophysical Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 3 2018


  • Nucleate boiling
  • elastocapillarity
  • nucleation
  • soft substrates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials


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