When subjected to a temperature gradient, the liquid film formed on a particle surface in near-critical vapor may undergo osmotic flow. Such a flow can induce a normal vapor flux onto (away from) the particle surface to compensate the loss (release the excess) of liquid as a result of condensation (evaporation) and produce significant thermophoretic mobility due to the extreme fluid compressibility during the phase change. Based on this principle, we have formulated this unique process and solved for the phoretic mobility by applying the boundary layer method. Unlike the classic mechanisms, this term of phase transition-induced phoretic mobility scales reversely with particle size, which becomes dominant for nanoparticles.

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