Researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Collaborative Innovation Center of Quantum Matter (Beijing), looked at the interactions of water molecules with various graphene-covered surfaces and found that graphene coatings may offer the ability to control the water evaporation process from various surfaces.
Lead author of the study, Dr. Yongfeng Huang from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said: "Water droplet evaporation is a ubiquitous and complicated phenomenon, and plays a pivotal role in nature and industry. Understanding its mechanism at the atomic scale, and controlling evaporation rate rationally is important for applications including heat transfer and body-temperature control. However, it remains a significant challenge". The team's experiments showed that a graphene coating controls water evaporation by suppressing the evaporation rate on hydrophilic surfaces, and accelerating evaporation on hydrophobic ones.