Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Vapor


To investigate 4 loci of 3 HSP70 genes in caustic soda production plant former workers, who have been exposed to metallic mercury vapors for a long time, and including numerous cases of chronic mercury intoxication (CMI).

Concepts: Water, Sodium, Mercury, Sodium hydroxide, Chlorine, Vapor, Mercury-vapor lamp, Lye


The deposition of particles on a surface by an evaporating sessile droplet is important for phenomena as diverse as printing, thin-film deposition, and self-assembly. The shape of the final deposit depends on the flows within the droplet during evaporation. These flows are typically determined at the onset of the process by the intrinsic physical, chemical, and geometrical properties of the droplet and its environment. Here, we demonstrate deterministic emergence and real-time control of Marangoni flows within the evaporating droplet by an external point source of vapor. By varying the source location, we can modulate these flows in space and time to pattern colloids on surfaces in a controllable manner.

Concepts: Water, General relativity, Systems theory, Liquid, Control theory, Differential geometry, Vapor, Evaporation


Cork popping from clear transparent bottles of champagne stored at different temperatures (namely, 6, 12, and 20 °C) was filmed through high-speed video imaging in the visible light spectrum. During the cork popping process, a plume mainly composed of gaseous CO2 with traces of water vapour freely expands out of the bottleneck through ambient air. Most interestingly, for the bottles stored at 20 °C, the characteristic grey-white cloud of fog classically observed above the bottlenecks of champagne stored at lower temperatures simply disappeared. It is replaced by a more evanescent plume, surprisingly blue, starting from the bottleneck. We suggest that heterogeneous freezing of CO2 occurs on ice water clusters homogeneously nucleated in the bottlenecks, depending on the saturation ratio experienced by gas-phase CO2 after adiabatic expansion (indeed highly bottle temperature dependent). Moreover, and as observed for the bottles stored at 20 °C, we show that the freezing of only a small portion of all the available CO2 is able to pump the energy released through adiabatic expansion, thus completely inhibiting the condensation of water vapour found in air packages adjacent to the gas volume gushing out of the bottleneck.

Concepts: Light, Water, Temperature, Thermodynamics, Gas, Visible spectrum, Vapor, Atmospheric thermodynamics


Nanoscale emulsions are essential components in numerous products, ranging from processed foods to novel drug delivery systems. Existing emulsification methods rely either on the breakup of larger droplets or solvent exchange/inversion. Here we report a simple, scalable method of creating nanoscale water-in-oil emulsions by condensing water vapor onto a subcooled oil-surfactant solution. Our technique enables a bottom-up approach to forming small-scale emulsions. Nanoscale water droplets nucleate at the oil/air interface and spontaneously disperse within the oil, due to the spreading dynamics of oil on water. Oil-soluble surfactants stabilize the resulting emulsions. We find that the oil-surfactant concentration controls the spreading behavior of oil on water, as well as the peak size, polydispersity, and stability of the resulting emulsions. Using condensation, we form emulsions with peak radii around 100 nm and polydispersities around 10%. This emulsion formation technique may open different routes to creating emulsions, colloidal systems, and emulsion-based materials.

Concepts: Water, Colloid, Liquid, Surface tension, Emulsion, Surfactant, Solution, Vapor


Four types of films viz. gelatin, gelatin-MMT, gelatin-chitosan and gelatin-MMT-chitosan prepared from redsnapper and grouper bone gelatin were compared with the mammalian gelatin films, for their mechanical and barrier properties. Grouper gelatin films had higher tensile strength (TS) and Young’s modulus (YM), but lower elongation at break (EAB) than redsnapper films. Incorporation of MMT and chitosan improved the TS (p<0.05) of the films. Water solubilities were lower (p<0.05) in films incorporated with chitosan compared to simple gelatin film. Protein solubilities were lower in gelatin-MMT films, irrespective of the type of solvent used. The water vapour transmission rates (WVTR) of fish and mammalian gelatin films were similar, but addition of MMT had reduced WVTR (p<0.05). SEM micrographs depicted smoother surface for gelatin-MMT and gelatin-MMT-chitosan films. Thus, composite fish gelatin films made with MMT and chitosan could be the good natural biodegradable films due to their better mechanical and barrier properties.

Concepts: Water, Tensile strength, Water vapor, Young's modulus, Carbon fiber, Vapor, Photographic film, Gelatin


A real turn-on: A luminescent lanthanide metal-organic framework shows strong and fast turn-on responses to N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF) vapor. The selective turn-on effect is triggered mainly by DMF-ligand interactions, along with the removal of quencher, water, from the metal coordination sphere.

Concepts: Fluorescence, Pharmacology, Water, Ligand, Water vapor, Vapor pressure, Vapor, Jimi Hendrix


The necessity of selectively detecting various organic vapors is primitive not only with respect to regular environmental and industrial hazard monitoring, but also in detecting explosives to combat terrorism and for defense applications. Today, the huge arsenal of micro-sensors has revolutionized the traditional methods of analysis by, e.g. replacing expensive laboratory equipment, and has made the remote screening of atmospheric threats possible. Surface acoustic wave (SAW) sensors - based on piezoelectric crystal resonators - are extremely sensitive to even very small perturbations in the external atmosphere, because the energy associated with the acoustic waves is confined to the crystal surface. Combined with suitably designed molecular recognition materials SAW devices could develop into highly selective and fast responsive miniaturized sensors, which are capable of continuously monitoring a specific organic gas, preferably in the sub-ppm regime. For this purpose, different types of recognition layers ranging from nanostructured metal oxides and carbons to pristine or molecularly imprinted polymers and self-assembled monolayers have been applied in the past decade. We present a critical review of the recent developments in nano- and micro-engineered synthetic recognition materials predominantly used for SAW-based organic vapor sensors. Besides highlighting their potential to realize real-time vapor sensing, their limitations and future perspectives are also discussed.

Concepts: Oxygen, Crystal, Carbon, Wave, Gas, Atmosphere, Vapor, Surface acoustic wave


Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particles emitted by incense sticks and candles combustion in an experimental room have been monitored on-line and continuously with a high time resolution using a state-of-the-art high sensitivity-proton transfer reaction-mass spectrometer (HS-PTR-MS) and a condensation particle counter (CPC), respectively. The VOC concentration-time profiles, i.e., an increase up to a maximum concentration immediately after the burning period followed by a decrease which returns to the initial concentration levels, were strongly influenced by the ventilation and surface interactions. The obtained kinetic data set allows establishing a qualitative correlation between the elimination rate constants of VOCs and their physicochemical properties such as vapor pressure and molecular weight. The emission of particles increased dramatically during the combustion, up to 9.1(±0.2) × 10(4) and 22.0(±0.2) × 10(4) part cm(-3) for incenses and candles, respectively. The performed kinetic measurements highlight the temporal evolution of the exposure level and reveal the importance of ventilation and deposition to remove the particles in a few hours in indoor environments.

Concepts: Carbon dioxide, Physical chemistry, Pressure, Volatile organic compound, Vapor, Fire, Incense, Flame


  Puree prepared from over-ripe peeled bananas was used as raw material for films processing in a laboratory padder. Pectin and glycerol as plasticizer were added in small concentrations and chitosan nanoparticles (88.79 ± 0.42 nm medium size) incorporated at 0.2% (dry weight basis) as reinforcement material. The mechanical properties, water vapor transmission, thermal stability, and scanning electron microscopy of fractured film surfaces were characterized. Both pectin and glycerol demonstrated an important role in promoting elongation and film handability as was expected. The incorporation of nanoparticles promoted noticeable improvement of the mechanical properties and acted in reducing the water vapor permeation rate, by 21% for films processed with pectin and up to 38% for films processed without pectin, when compared to the control (puree films with no pectin and nanoparticles additions). Microscopic observation revealed a denser matrix when nanoparticles are incorporated into the films. Practical Application:  The development of films from fruit purees head to a new strategy for plastic processing from natural resources. The over-ripe or even waste banana can be adequately prepared for batch films processed with reasonable mechanical and barrier properties, suitable for applications in the food segment. The addition of small fractions of chitosan nanoparticles, form nanocomposites enhancing mechanical and thermal stability broadening potential film applications.

Concepts: Electron, Electron microscope, Water, Microscope, Water vapor, Scanning electron microscope, Vapor, Banana


A kinetic model is developed to describe the heterogeneous condensation of vapor on an insoluble spherical particle. This new model considers two mechanisms of cluster growth: direct addition of water molecules from the vapor and surface diffusion of adsorbed water molecules on the particle. The effect of line tension is also included in the model. For the first time, the exact expression of evaporation coefficient is derived for heterogeneous condensation of vapor on an insoluble spherical particle by using the detailed balance. The obtained expression of evaporation coefficient is proved to be also correct in the homogeneous condensation and the heterogeneous condensation on a planar solid surface. The contributions of the two mechanisms to heterogeneous condensation including the effect of line tension are evaluated and analysed. It is found that the cluster growth via surface diffusion of adsorbed water molecules on the particle is more important than the direct addition from the vapor. As an example of our model applications, the growth rate of the cap shaped droplet on the insoluble spherical particle is derived. Our evaluation shows that the growth rate of droplet in heterogeneous condensation is larger than that in homogeneous condensation. These results indicate that an explicit kinetic model is benefit to the study of heterogeneous condensation on an insoluble spherical particle.

Concepts: Electron, Water, Atom, Vector space, Liquid, Vapor, Evaporation, Surface diffusion