Nucleation time of nanoscale water bridges

Robert Szoszkiewicz, Elisa Riedo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Water capillaries bind together grains of sand. They also can bind an atomic force microscope tip to a substrate. The kinetics of capillary condensation at the nanoscale is studied here using friction force microscopy. At 40% relative humidity we find that the meniscus nucleation times increase from 0.7 to 4.2 ms when the temperature decreases from 332 to 299 K. The nucleation times grow exponentially with the inverse temperature 1/T obeying an Arrhenius law. We obtain a nucleation energy barrier of 7.8×10-20J and an attempt frequency ranging between 4 and 250 GHz, in excellent agreement with theoretical predictions. These results provide direct experimental evidence that capillary condensation is a thermally activated phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number135502
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume95
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 23 2005

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nucleation
condensation
water
menisci
sands
humidity
friction
microscopes
microscopy
temperature
kinetics
predictions
energy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this

Nucleation time of nanoscale water bridges. / Szoszkiewicz, Robert; Riedo, Elisa.

In: Physical Review Letters, Vol. 95, No. 13, 135502, 23.09.2005.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Szoszkiewicz, Robert ; Riedo, Elisa. / Nucleation time of nanoscale water bridges. In: Physical Review Letters. 2005 ; Vol. 95, No. 13.
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