Ionization-induced surface tension reduction of water droplets

Byung Mook Weon; Jung Ho Je
December 2008
Applied Physics Letters;12/15/2008, Vol. 93 Issue 24, p244105
Academic Journal
Ionization has been proposed to change natural properties of liquids by influencing surface tension; however, microphysical mechanism has not been well established. Our general physical model to link surface tension and ionization rate shows that radiation-induced ionization may significantly lower the surface tension of tiny water droplets (1–100 nm). Our estimation shows that a few electric charges are sufficient to reduce the surface tension, for instance, of a water droplet with 10 nm radius. Ionization-induced surface tension phenomenon may have impact on many industrial and natural situations, for instance, linking a possible microphysical route to cloud formation by cosmic rays.


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