Review on numerical simulation of boiling heat transfer from atomistic to mesoscopic and macroscopic scales

Yujie Chen, Bo Yu, Wei Lu, Bohong Wang, Dongliang Sun, Kaituo Jiao, Wei Zhang, Wenquan Tao*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Boiling is an efficient heat transfer mode with significant potential for thermal management in high-power electronic equipment. However, a comprehensive understanding of the boiling process, which encompasses bubble nucleation, growth, coalescence, slipping, and detachment across various scales, remains challenging. Molecular dynamics simulation, lattice Boltzmann, and computational fluid dynamics methods are popular and powerful tools for investigating boiling heat transfer phenomena at microscopic, mesoscopic, and macroscopic scales. These methods enable researchers to uncover the underlying boiling mechanisms and propose heat transfer enhancement techniques. Therefore, this paper provides a comprehensive review of boiling heat transfer, spanning from atomistic to mesoscopic and macroscopic scales, utilizing these three numerical methods. It addresses critical issues related to nanoscale bubble nucleation mechanisms, pool boiling, and flow boiling, and proposes potential solutions and future researches, supplementing our previous review [Some advances in numerical simulations of multiscale heat transfer problems and particularly for boiling heat transfer, Annu. Rev. Heat Transf., 6 (2022) 217–269]. Besides, by shedding light on the characteristics of these numerical methods in studying boiling heat transfer, this paper aims to foster their development and advance enhanced heat transfer technologies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125396
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Boiling heat transfer
  • Computational fluid dynamics method
  • Lattices Boltzmann method
  • Molecular dynamics simulation method


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