[Sci. Adv.] Sparking potential over 1200 V by a falling water droplet

Date:2024/3/25 22:16:04

Luxian Li, Xuemei Li, Wei Deng, Chun Shen, Xinhai Chen, Han Sheng, Xiang Wang, Jianxin Zhou, Jidong Li, Yinlong Zhu, Zhuhua Zhang, Jun Yin, Wanlin Guo

Science Advances  , 9, 46, eadi2993,  2023.


Abstract: Hydrovoltaic technology has achieved notable breakthroughs in electric output via using the moving boundary of electric double layer, but the output voltage induced by droplets is saturated around 350 volts, and the underlying mechanism remains to be further clarified. Here, we show that falling water droplets can stably spark an unprecedented voltage up to 1200 volts within microseconds that they contact an electrode placed on top of an electret surface, approaching the theoretical upper limit. This sparking potential can be explained and described by a comprehensive model considering the water-electrode contact dynamics from both the macroscale droplet spreading and the microscale electric double layer formation, as well as the presence of a circuit capacitance. It is demonstrated that a droplet-induced electric spark is sufficient to directly ionize gas at atmospheric pressure and split water into hydrogen and oxygen, showing wide application potential in fields of green energy and intelligence.