Electric Field–Based Control and Enhancement of Boiling and Condensation

Arjang Shahriari, Patrick Birbarah, Junho Oh, Nenad Miljkovic, Vaibhav Bahadur

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


This article reviews and analyzes recent advancements on boiling and condensation heat transfer enhancement via the use of electric fields. Historically, the majority of studies on phase change heat transfer enhancement have relied on passive approaches like surface engineering. Electric fields provide distinct options to enhance and control the nano/micro/mesoscale thermofluidic phenomena associated with boiling and condensation. This work focuses on the influence of electric fields on electrically conducting liquids like water and certain organic solvents. After a brief review of past work on electric field–based heat transfer enhancement using electrically insulating liquids, we summarize and discuss recent studies involving electrically conducting liquids. It is seen that electric fields can offer disruptive advancements and benefits in the control and enhancement of boiling and condensation. Perspectives, future research directions, and applications of these novel concepts are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)102-121
Number of pages20
JournalNanoscale and Microscale Thermophysical Engineering
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 3 2017


  • Electric fields
  • boiling
  • bubbles
  • condensation
  • droplets
  • heat transfer enhancement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials


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