Volume 105, Number 6, March 2014
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||Condensed Matter: Structural, Mechanical and Thermal Properties|
|Published online||31 March 2014|
Propagating topological transformations in thin immiscible bilayer films
1 Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford - Woodstock Road, Oxford, OX2 6GG, UK
2 Department of Mathematics, Technische Universität Berlin - Straße des 17. Juni 136, 10623 Berlin, Germany
3 Weierstrass Institute - Mohrenstraße 39, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Received: 11 December 2013
Accepted: 11 March 2014
A physical mechanism for the topological transformation of a two-layer system confined by two substrates is proposed. Initially the two horizontal layers, A and B, are on top of each other, but upon a sufficiently large disturbance, they can rearrange themselves through a spontaneously propagating sectioning to create a sequence of vertical alternating domains ABABAB. This generic topological transformation could be used to control the morphology of fabricated nanocomposites by first creating metastable layered structures and then triggering their transformation. The generality is underscored by formulating conditions for this topological transformation in terms of the interface energies between phases and substrates. The theoretical estimate for the width of the domains is confirmed by simulations of a phase-field model and its thin-film/sharp-interface approximation.
PACS: 64.60.My – Metastable phases / 64.75.St – Phase separation and segregation in thin films / 68.05.Cf – Liquid-liquid interface structure: measurements and simulations
© EPLA, 2014
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