Stability of respiratory-like droplets under evaporation Articles uri icon

publication date

  • February 2022

start page

  • 1

end page

  • 12


  • 2(023603)


  • 7

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2469-990X


  • Recent studies have shown that enveloped viruses contained in airborne respiratory
    droplets lose infectability fastest at intermediate ambient relative humidities Hr. However,
    the precise physicochemical mechanisms that generate such least-favorable conditions for
    the virus are not fully understood yet. Studying the evaporation dynamics of respiratory like droplets in air experimentally and analytically, we reveal that at high Hr, the salt
    dissolved in respiratory drops inhibits their evaporation indefinitely. Conversely, at low
    Hr the drop evaporates leaving a porous solid residue, inside which virions may remain
    dormant for long times. We conclude that the optimal relative humidity for minimal
    infectability should coincide with droplets containing the maximum concentration of salt
    for longest periods of time.


  • Physics