Europhys. Lett.
Volume 61, Number 5, March 2003
Page(s) 660 - 666
Section Condensed matter: structure, mechanical and thermal properties
Published online 01 February 2003
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2003-00122-9
Europhys. Lett., 61 (5) , pp. 660-666 (2003)

Wetting of thin liquid films at nanoscale heterogeneous surfaces

K. Mougin and H. Haidara

Institut de Chimie des Surfaces et Interfaces-ICSI-CNRS B.P. 2488, 15 Rue Jean Starcky, 68057 Mulhouse Cedex, France

(Received 24 May 2002; accepted in final form 17 December 2002)

We report new experimental results on the dewetting of thin liquid films on nanoscale-structured binary surfaces made of antagonist wetted (w), non-wetted (nw) molecular domains. Our experimental results and computed Hamaker constant showed that long-range van der Waals forces rather act to stabilize the interface in both systems. Though no simple length-scale correlation was found between the dewetting hole densities and the underlying nanoscale surface structures, our results strongly suggest the heterogeneous nucleation as the dominant dewetting mode in these systems. These hole densities and dewetting morphologies were found, in other respects, to critically depend on the area fraction of the w (nw) domains at the heterogeneous substrates.

68.15.+e - Liquid thin films.
68.08.-p - Liquid-solid interfaces.
47.20.Ma - Interfacial instability.

© EDP Sciences 2003