Area and edge effects in radiometric forces


The radiometric force on several configurations of heated plates placed in a stagnant gas is examined experimentally, with a high-resolution thrust stand, and numerically using the direct simulation Monte Carlo method and a discrete ordinate solution of a model kinetic equation. A wide range of pressure from 0.006 to 6 Pa was examined, corresponding to Knudsen numbers from 20 to 0.02, in argon and helium test gases. The radiometric force, important in a number of emerging micro- and nanoscale applications, is shown to be mostly area dependent in the transitional regime where it reaches its maximum at Kn~0.1.


This is the published version of N. Selden, C. Ngalande, S. Gimelshein, E.P. Muntz, A. Alexeenko, and A. Ketsdever, “Area and Edge Effects in Radiometric Forces,” Physical Review E, Vol. 79, 041201, 6 pages, 2009. First published in the Physical Review E and is available online at:

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