Europhys. Lett.
Volume 72, Number 5, December 2005
Page(s) 781 - 787
Section Condensed matter: structural, mechanical and thermal properties
Published online 04 November 2005
Europhys. Lett., 72 (5), pp. 781-787 (2005)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2005-10312-y

Dewetting of thin viscoelastic polymer films on slippery substrates

T. Vilmin and E. Raphaël

Laboratoire de Physique de la Matière Condensée, FRE 2844 du CNRS Collège de France - 11 Place Marcelin Berthelot, 75231 Paris Cedex 05, France

received 19 May 2005; accepted in final form 6 October 2005
published online 4 November 2005

Dewetting of thin polystyrene films deposited onto silicon wafers exhibits unusual dynamics and rim morphologies. Here, we present a new theoretical approach of these phenomena taking into account both the viscoelastic properties of the film and the non-zero velocity of the film at the interface with the substrate (i.e. slippage). We show how these two ingredients lead to: a) a very asymmetric shape of the rim as the film dewets; b) a decrease of the dewetting velocity with time like ${\ensuremath{t^{-\frac{1}{2}}} }$ for times shorter than the reptation time (for larger times, the dewetting velocity reaches a constant value). Recent experiments by Damman, Baudelet and Reiter (Phys. Rev. Lett., 91 (2003) 216101) present, however, a much faster decrease of the dewetting velocity. We then show how this striking result may be explained by the presence of residual stresses in the film.

68.60.-p - Physical properties of thin films, nonelectronic.
68.15.+e - Liquid thin films.
68.55.-a - Thin film structure and morphology.

© EDP Sciences 2005