Vapor generation in a nanoparticle liquid suspension using a focused, continuous laser

Robert A. Taylor, Patrick Phelan, Todd Otanicar, Ronald Adrian, Ravi S. Prasher

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49 Scopus citations


This letter discusses experimentation with optically induced phase change in nanoparticle liquid suspensions-commonly termed nanofluids. Four different types of nanofluids at five concentrations were exposed to a ∼120 mW, 532 nm laser beam to determine the minimum laser flux needed to create vapor. Laser irradiance was varied between 0-770 W cm-2. While the experiments were simple, they involved many complex, interrelated physical phenomena, including: subcooled boiling, thermal driven particle/bubble motion, nanoparticle radiative absorption/scattering, and nanoparticle clumping. Such phenomena could enable novel solar collectors in which the working fluid directly absorbs energy and undergoes phase change in a single step.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number161907
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number16
StatePublished - Nov 2 2009


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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