Roughened copper substrates were exposed to a broadband UV-VIS light source during nucleate boiling at a heat flux of 60–70% of the amount expected to result in critical heat flux (CHF) without exposure to a light source. The surface temperature decreased by 0.5–1.0°C within minutes after the UV-VIS light exposure began. CHF occurred after less than 20 minutes of exposure to the light source. Nanoscale features were observed in the light-exposed region of the copper surface after boiling, which were primarily associated with formation of Cu2O. The induced CHF likely occurred due to surface oxide formation, a resultant decrease in wettability of the surface.

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