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J Phys Chem B. 2005 Dec 29;109(51):24391-400.

Isotope fractionation of water during evaporation without condensation.

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1
Department of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720-1460, USA.

Abstract

The microscopic events engendering liquid water evaporation have received much attention over the last century, but remain incompletely understood. We present measurements of isotope fractionation occurring during free molecular evaporation from liquid microjets and show that the isotope ratios of evaporating molecules exhibit dramatic differences from equilibrium vapor values, strong variations with the solution deuterium mole fraction, and a clear temperature dependence. These results indicate the existence of an energetic barrier to evaporation and that the evaporation coefficient of water is less than unity. These new insights into water evaporation promise to advance our understanding of the processes that control the formation and lifetime of clouds in the atmosphere.

PMID:
16375440
DOI:
10.1021/jp0539066
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