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Convection-enhanced water evaporation
2. J. C. Maxwell, Diffusion, collected scientific papers (Encyclopedia Britannica, Cambridge, 1877).
18. W. L. Tsai, P. C. Hsu, Y. Hwu, C. H. Chen, L. W. Chang, J. H. Je, H. M. Lin, A. Groso, and G. Margaritondo, Nature (London) 417, 139 (2002).
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Water vapor is lighter than air; this can enhance water evaporation by triggering vapor convection but there is little evidence. We directly visualize evaporation of nanoliter (2 to 700 nL) water droplets resting on silicon wafer in calm air using a high-resolution dual X-ray imaging method. Temporal evolutions of contact radius and contact angle reveal that evaporation rate linearly changes with surface area, indicating convective (instead of diffusive) evaporation in nanoliter water droplets. This suggests that convection of water vapor would enhance water evaporation at nanoliter scales, for instance, on microdroplets or inside nanochannels.
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