Onset and critical radius of heterogeneous bubble nucleation

Manish Gupta, An Zou, Shalabh C. Maroo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


In this work, the onset of heterogeneous bubble nucleation is studied using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and experiments. In MD simulations, heterogeneous bubble nucleation is initiated in liquid argon by partially heating a platinum surface. Multiple simulations are run by varying the width and temperature of the heated part of the surface; each simulation results in either a collapsing, stable or growing bubble for which Gibbs free energy is estimated and compared. These results atomistically confirm that a critical radius of nucleation exists for heterogeneous nucleation. Based on these simulations, an analytical model is developed to predict the critical width required for bubble nucleation at the nanoscale. Experiments are also conducted on the onset of bubble nucleation in water on a silicon-dioxide surface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103704
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number10
StatePublished - Mar 9 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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