Enhanced Evaporation of Ultrathin Water Films on Silicon-Terminated Si3N4 Nanopore Membranes

RK Liu and ZY Liu, LANGMUIR, 37, 10046-10051 (2021).

DOI: 10.1021/acs.langmuir.1c01212

Water evaporation confined in nanoscale is a ubiquitous phenomenon in nature and has crucial importance in a broad range of technical applications. With the nonequilibrium molecular dynamics simulation, we elucidate nanothin water film evaporation characteristics on a silicon nitride nanopore membrane considering the effects of pore size and pore chemistry. Pore chemistry plays the main role in regulating the evaporation flux. The terminated Si atoms on the pore surface lead to a higher evaporation intensity than the N ones. We attribute this enhancement to the transition of the structural properties of fluid, where liquid molecules are packed loosely and disorderedly under the inducement of terminated silicon atoms. The findings in the present work can contribute to the fundamental understanding of the nanopore-enhanced evaporation process and provide new guidance to the design of advanced nanopore membrane materials.

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