What is it about?

Electrospray is a way to produce nano/micro-particles or ions by applying strong electric field to a liquid. Concentrated aqueous solutions with high conductivity have been proven difficult to be stably electrosprayed. This paper presents a more convenient method to ionize the concentrated aqueous solution (0.08 mol/L) than the previous attempts and proves the feasibility of coaxially electrospraying two highly conductive liquids (∼1 S/m).

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Why is it important?

The electrospray of aqueous solution has been widely used in many fields such as spray cooling, ion source for mass spectrometry, nano/micro-particles production, and electrospray thruster. The proposed method here implies that a large variety of concentrated aqueous solutions can be stably electrosprayed in these scenarios. In addition, the stable electrospray of concentrated aqueous solution with high conductivity facilitates the formation of charged particles with high charge to mass ratio.


I am currently working on improving the performance of electric propulsion. This is my preliminary trying to prove that the aqueous solution could be used as the propellant of the electrospray thrusters. Comparing with the traditional propellant -- ionic liquid, aqueous solution is much cheaper and easy to obtain different conductivity. Besides, the outer ionic liquid covering the inner aqueous solution could prevent the inner aqueous solution from evaporating under vacuum. We also seek to widen the range of specific impulse and thrust of the electrospray thruster through regulating the flow rate of the ionic liquid and aqueous solution. Lots of interesting questions remain to be solved in this topic.

Yufeng Cheng
Beihang University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Stably electrospraying highly conductive sodium chloride aqueous solution coated with outer ionic liquid using coaxial capillary, Physics of Fluids, September 2022, American Institute of Physics,
DOI: 10.1063/5.0104334.
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