Applied Physics A

, 122:496 | Cite as

Molecular dynamics simulation of condensation on nanostructured surface in a confined space

  • Li Li
  • Pengfei Ji
  • Yuwen Zhang


Understanding heat transfer characteristics of phase change and enhancing thermal energy transport in nanoscale are of great interest in both theoretical and practical applications. In the present study, we investigated the nanoscale vaporization and condensation by using molecular dynamics simulation. A cuboid system is modeled by placing hot and cold walls in the bottom and top ends and filling with working fluid between the two walls. By setting two different high temperatures for the hot wall, we showed the normal and explosive vaporizations and their impacts on thermal transport. For the cold wall, the cuboid nanostructures with fixed height, varied length, width ranging from 4 to 20 layers, and an interval of four layers are constructed to study the effects of condensation induced by different nanostructures. For vaporization, the results showed that higher temperature of the hot wall led to faster transport of the working fluid as a cluster moving from the hot wall to the cold wall. However, excessive temperature of the hot wall causes explosive boiling, which seems not good for the transport of heat due to the less phase change of working fluid. For condensation, the results indicate that nanostructure facilitates condensation, which could be affected not only by the increased surface area but also by the distances between surfaces of the nanostructures and the cold end. There is an optimal nanostructure scheme which maximizes the phase change rate of the entire system.


Argon Atom Cold Side Cold Wall Liquid Argon Vapor Atom 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of symbols


Height of the modeled system (Å)


Length of the modeled system (Å)


Distance between two atoms (Å)


Surface area


Surface area ratio


Width of the modeled system (Å)



Lattice constant (Å)


Finite distance at which the interatomic potential is zero (Å)


Depth of the L–J potential (eV)

\( \emptyset \)

Potential function (eV)

Subscripts and superscripts






Cases of simulation



The financial support for this research project from the 111 Project No. B12034 and US National Science Foundation under Grant Number CBET-1404482 is gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.MOE Key Laboratory of Condition Monitoring and Control for Power Plant EquipmentNorth China Electric Power UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Department of Mechanical and Aerospace EngineeringUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA

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