Layer-by-layer solution-processed two-dimensional graphene oxide–polyethylenimine thin-film coatings for enhanced pool boiling heat transfer

Jaemin Lee, Jiheon Kim, Byungseok Seo, Dongjoon Shin, Sungho Hwang, Wonjoon Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Nanostructured surfaces are promising candidates for improving liquid-vapor phase-change heat transfer, and their simple fabrication can offer rapid screening of optimal surface characteristics where the phase change occurs. However, conventional fabrication techniques involve energy-intensive processes, such as high-temperature and vacuum conditions or harsh wet chemical treatments. Herein, we propose the use of Layer-by-Layer (LbL) solution-processed graphene oxide/polyethyleneimine (GO/PEI) coatings as ultrathin two-dimensional (2-D) functional surfaces on stainless-steel heaters to enhance the pool boiling heat transfer. The LbL deposition processes implementing repetitive contact and removal of positive and negatively charged water-based solutions directly fabricated GO/PEI bilayers on the heater surfaces. GO and PEI serve as the core plane-like 2-D nanostructure and the bonding agent, respectively, whereas the number of LbL cycles precisely adjusts the physicochemical properties. In the ultra-thin LbL coating thickness (< 85 nm), the significant enhancement rates of critical heat flux (∼ 125%) were obtained in comparison with the bare heater substrate when the working fluid was deionized water. The optimal LbL GO/PEI bilayers facilitate water molecule transport through the extended GO interlayer nanochannels and high-density pinholes, whereas the outer and inner surface characteristics, such as roughness, wettability, and thickness, manipulate liquid-vapor transition-detachment, as well as bubble dynamics. The simple yet effective LbL solution-processed coatings can pave the way for the development of diverse functional coatings of hybridized 2-D and polymeric materials for thermal energy management involving liquid-vapor phase-change heat transfer.

Original languageEnglish
Article number124067
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Aug 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF), funded by the Korean government (Ministry of Science and ICT) [grant numbers 2023R1A2C2006407 and 2020R1A5A1018153 ].

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd


  • Critical heat flux
  • Graphene oxide
  • Heat transfer
  • Layer-by-layer
  • Pool boiling
  • Porous surface

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


Dive into the research topics of 'Layer-by-layer solution-processed two-dimensional graphene oxide–polyethylenimine thin-film coatings for enhanced pool boiling heat transfer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this