Molecular dynamics simulation on explosive boiling of liquid argon film on copper nanochannels

Shiwei ZHANG, Feng HAO, Haimu CHEN, Wei YUAN, Yong TANG*, Xi CHEN*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)


Phase change from liquid to vapor of the working fluid has been widely used in thermal control for microelectronic devices. In this study, the effects of nanochannels on the explosive phase transition of ultrathin liquid argon film on the copper substrate in confined space are investigated through molecular dynamics simulation. The results show that nanochannels significantly facilitate the thermal energy transfer from solid copper surface to the liquid argon which leads to a much more violent explosive boiling than the plain surface. Liquid argon atoms adjacent to the solid surface are instantly overheated and consequently a cluster of liquid argon detaches from the surface once the explosive boiling occurs. The temperature of the liquid argon when it separates from the solid surface increases with respect to the increasing nanochannel heights, while the time for the system to reach equilibrium decreases distinctly. Furthermore, though continuous heat transfers to the liquid argon, a non-vaporized layer always exists near the bottom surface of the solid copper base with a stable number density of about 0.025 1/Å3. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-214
Number of pages7
JournalApplied Thermal Engineering
Early online date7 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Supported by National Nature Science Foundation of China (Nos. 51275180 and 51475172), Team Program (No. 2014A030312017) supported by the Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong, Province and Key Program (No. U1401249) of NSFC-Guangdong Joint Funds of China and Science and Technology Planning Project for Industry-University-Research Cooperation in Guangdong Province (No. 2014B090901065). One of the authors, Shiwei Zhang, would like to acknowledge financial support from the Chinese Scholarship Council (CSC).


  • Explosive boiling
  • Liquid argon
  • Molecular dynamics simulation
  • Nanochannels
  • Phase transition


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