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Controlling water evaporation through self-assembly

Roger, Kevin LU ; Liebi, Marianne; Heimdal, Jimmy LU ; Pham, Quoc Dat and Sparr, Emma LU (2016) In Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 113(37). p.10275-10280
Abstract

Water evaporation concerns all land-living organisms, as ambient air is dryer than their corresponding equilibrium humidity. Contrarily to plants, mammals are covered with a skin that not only hinders evaporation but also maintains its rate at a nearly constant value, independently of air humidity. Here, we show that simple amphiphiles/water systems reproduce this behavior, which suggests a common underlying mechanism originating from responding self-assembly structures. The composition and structure gradients arising from the evaporation process were characterized using optical microscopy, infrared microscopy, and smallangle X-ray scattering. We observed a thin and dry outer phase that responds to changes in air humidity by increasing... (More)

Water evaporation concerns all land-living organisms, as ambient air is dryer than their corresponding equilibrium humidity. Contrarily to plants, mammals are covered with a skin that not only hinders evaporation but also maintains its rate at a nearly constant value, independently of air humidity. Here, we show that simple amphiphiles/water systems reproduce this behavior, which suggests a common underlying mechanism originating from responding self-assembly structures. The composition and structure gradients arising from the evaporation process were characterized using optical microscopy, infrared microscopy, and smallangle X-ray scattering. We observed a thin and dry outer phase that responds to changes in air humidity by increasing its thickness as the air becomes dryer, which decreases its permeability to water, thus counterbalancing the increase in the evaporation driving force. This thin and dry outer phase therefore shields the systems from humidity variations. Such a feedback loop achieves a homeostatic regulation of water evaporation.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Cnrs, institut national polytechnique de toulouse, université Paul sabatier, Evaporation, Gradient, Homeostatic, Laboratoire de génie chimique, Regulation, Self-assembly, Université de toulouse
in
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
volume
113
issue
37
pages
6 pages
publisher
National Acad Sciences
external identifiers
  • scopus:84987657365
  • wos:000383092000033
ISSN
0027-8424
DOI
10.1073/pnas.1604134113
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
8213020e-3f76-4856-919b-339380a07d97
date added to LUP
2016-11-04 11:12:26
date last changed
2017-10-22 05:21:30
@article{8213020e-3f76-4856-919b-339380a07d97,
  abstract     = {<p>Water evaporation concerns all land-living organisms, as ambient air is dryer than their corresponding equilibrium humidity. Contrarily to plants, mammals are covered with a skin that not only hinders evaporation but also maintains its rate at a nearly constant value, independently of air humidity. Here, we show that simple amphiphiles/water systems reproduce this behavior, which suggests a common underlying mechanism originating from responding self-assembly structures. The composition and structure gradients arising from the evaporation process were characterized using optical microscopy, infrared microscopy, and smallangle X-ray scattering. We observed a thin and dry outer phase that responds to changes in air humidity by increasing its thickness as the air becomes dryer, which decreases its permeability to water, thus counterbalancing the increase in the evaporation driving force. This thin and dry outer phase therefore shields the systems from humidity variations. Such a feedback loop achieves a homeostatic regulation of water evaporation.</p>},
  author       = {Roger, Kevin and Liebi, Marianne and Heimdal, Jimmy and Pham, Quoc Dat and Sparr, Emma},
  issn         = {0027-8424},
  keyword      = {Cnrs, institut national polytechnique de toulouse, université Paul sabatier,Evaporation,Gradient,Homeostatic,Laboratoire de génie chimique,Regulation,Self-assembly,Université de toulouse},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {09},
  number       = {37},
  pages        = {10275--10280},
  publisher    = {National Acad Sciences},
  series       = {Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America},
  title        = {Controlling water evaporation through self-assembly},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1604134113},
  volume       = {113},
  year         = {2016},
}