Low-Temperature Melting of Silver Nanoparticles in Subcooled and Saturated Water

Soochan Lee, Patrick Phelan, Robert A. Taylor, Ravi Prasher, Lenore Dai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Continuous, laser-heated boiling heat transfer experiments with silver nanofluids were conducted to identify the nonequilibrium melting behavior of silver nanoparticles in de-ionized (DI) water. Experimental results with transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and dynamic light scattering (DLS) suggest that surface melting of silver nanoparticles (which have a bulk melting point of 961 °C) can occur at ambient pressure when particles are suspended in saturated, and even subcooled (e.g., <100 °C) water due to the localized (volumetric) heat absorption. These findings are supported by calculating a temperature-dependent Hamaker constant of silver nanofluid - i.e., the interaction between interfaces (Ag-melt-water) at the melting temperature. This finding is significant because of the difficulty to identify the melting of silver nanoparticles in water at present, even though it is important to understand such potential melting to use aqueous silver nanofluids in solar applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number052301
JournalJournal of Heat Transfer
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2016


  • Hamaker constant
  • boiling
  • dynamic light scattering (DLS)
  • heat transfer
  • nonequilibrium melting
  • silver nanofluid
  • transmission electron microscopy (TEM)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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