van der Waals stable thin liquid films: Correlated undulations and ultimate dewetting
Department of Materials and Interfaces, Weizmann Institute of Science, 76100 Rehovot, Israel
2 Department of Chemical Engineering, Ben Gurion University in the Negev, 84105 Be'er Sheva, Israel
3 Exxon Research and Engineering Company - Annandale, NJ 08801, USA
Accepted: 5 October 1998
The evolution of pre-rupture undulations at the liquid-air interface of thin non-wetting liquid films spread on a solid substrate was monitored in real time by non-perturbative interference microscopy. The spatial distribution of the incipient undulations is non-random and characterized by a typical wavelength, as predicted for van der Waals unstable films, despite the fact that the system is expected to be vdW-stable, and that ultimate dewetting of films appears to take place via a heterogeneous nucleation mechanism.
PACS: 68.45.Gd – Wetting / 68.15.+e – Liquid thin films / 82.65.Dp – Thermodynamics of surfaces and interfaces
© EDP Sciences, 1998