Volume 43, Number 3, August I 1998
|Page(s)||314 - 319|
|Section||Condensed matter: structure, thermal and mechanical properties|
|Published online||01 September 2002|
Macroscopic manifestations of surface crystallization
Exxon Research and Engineering Co. - Route 22 East, Annandale, NJ 08801, USA
2 Physics Department, Northern Illinois University - DeKalb, IL 60115, USA
3 Physics Department, Bar Ilan University - Ramat Gan 52900, Israel
4 Physics Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory - Upton, NY 11973, USA
Accepted: 5 June 1998
Two rather dramatic and unusual, visually observable phenomena occurring in molten wax, are reported and explained: Shaking the liquid in a vial will yield a foam, even though no surfactant is present; dust spread on the liquid surface is seen to move laterally with surprising speed. We performed systematic measurements on a single-component wax, the n-alkane , visualizing the surface under linear temperature gradients and in the presence of gas slowly bubbling from below. These macroscopic effects are studied quantitatively, and shown to be macroscopic manifestations of the existence of a monomolecular crystalline alkane layer at the liquid-vapor interface. A proposed phase diagram for the thin bubble wall is shown to account for the bubbles' coalescence and bursting behavior. These results imply the existence of a new mechanism for foam stability and can be expected to broadly occur in systems containing alkyl-chains.
PACS: 68.10.-m – Fluid surfaces and fluid-fluid interfaces / 64.70.Dv – Solid-liquid transitions / 68.15.+e – Liquid thin films
© EDP Sciences, 1998
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