Europhys. Lett.
Volume 76, Number 6, December 2006
Page(s) 1102 - 1108
Section Electromagnetism, optics, acoustics, heat transfer, classical mechanics, and fluid dynamics
Published online 29 November 2006
Europhys. Lett., 76 (6), pp. 1102-1108 (2006)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2006-10397-8

Collapse of catenoid-shaped smectic films

F. Müller and R. Stannarius

Otto-von-Guericke Universität Magdeburg, Institut für experimentelle Physik D39106-Magdeburg, Germany

received 3 August 2006; accepted in final form 27 October 2006
published online 29 November 2006

We report an experimental study of the collapse dynamics of smectic catenoids. It is shown that in dependence on the thickness of the smectic films, different rupture scenarios take place. The change of the film thickness during the collapse process is monitored using an interference technique. We separate influences of inertia and viscosity of the smectic film material and inertia and viscosity of the air enclosed by the catenoid by performing experiments at different pressures. At low pressure, the collapse of thin (submicrometer) membranes is considerably accelerated, while for thick (several micrometers) membranes, the dynamics is practically unchanged.

47.20.Dr - Surface-tension-driven instability. - Thin film flows.
47.54.De - Experimental aspects.

© EDP Sciences 2006