Indian American led research introduces ‘pause button’ for boiling

Shalabh C. Maroo

Feb 24: In a first of its kind research, an Indian American led team at the College of Engineering and Computer Science, Syracuse University have essentially hit the pause button on boiling.

Using a focused laser beam, Professor Shalabh Maroo’s research group and collaborators at NIST and RPI have created a single vapor bubble in a pool of liquid that can remain stable on a surface for hours, instead of milliseconds.

This method gives researchers the time necessary to microscopically study vapor bubbles and determine ways to optimize the boiling process–maximizing the amount of heat removal with a minimal rise in surface temperature. Maroo envisions that it will also open the door for advancements in many heat transfer systems.

“With this technique, we are able to analyze the fundamentals of boiling,” says Maroo. “The new understanding is going to help researchers design surface structures to achieve desired heat transfer, accurately predict as well as enhance boiling in outer space where lack of gravity causes bubbles to stay stationary on a heated surface, and create next-generation technology for thermal management in electronics.”

Maroo’s work has been published in its entirety in Nature Publishing Group’s high-impact journal, Scientific Reports. Within, Maroo elaborates on his methods and scientific achievements of this research which include the formation and analysis of a steady state bubble on hydrophilic (water-loving) and hydrophobic (water-repelling) surfaces with degassed and regular (containing dissolved air) water; in-situ imaging of the contact line region to measure the contact angle of a vapor bubble, and analysis to determine the upper limit of heat transfer coefficient possible in nucleate boiling which is obtained using experimental measurements of the microlayer (the thin liquid film).

Prof. Shalabh C. Maroo is an assistant professor at the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and holds Post-Doctoral Associate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Ph.D. & M.S. (thesis) in Mechanical Engineering from University of Florida & B. Tech in Mechanical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay.

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