WIAS Preprint No. 2380, (2017)

Structure formation in thin liquid-liquid films


  • Bommer, Stefan
  • Jachalski, Sebastian
  • Peschka, Dirk
    ORCID: 0000-0002-3047-1140
  • Seemann, Ralf
  • Wagner, Barbara

2008 Physics and Astronomy Classification Scheme

  • 68.05.Cf, 02.60.Cb


  • Flowing Matter: Liquids and Complex Fluids, Liquid-liquid interface structure, measurements and simulations




We revisit the problem of a liquid polymer that dewets from another liquid polymer substrate with the focus on the direct comparison of results from mathematical modeling, rigorous analysis, numerical simulation and experimental investigations of rupture, dewetting dynamics and equilibrium patterns of a thin liquid-liquid system. The experimental system uses as a model system a thin polystyrene (PS) / polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) bilayer of a few hundred nm. The polymer systems allow for in situ observation of the dewetting process by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and for a precise ex situ imaging of the liquid--liquid interface. In the present study, the molecular chain length of the used polymers is chosen such that the polymers can be considered as Newtonian liquids. However, by increasing the chain length, the rheological properties of the polymers can be also tuned to a viscoelastic flow behavior. The experimental results are compared with the predictions based on the thin film models. The system parameters like contact angle and surface tensions are determined from the experiments and used for a quantitative comparison. We obtain excellent agreement for transient drop shapes on their way towards equilibrium, as well as dewetting rim profiles and dewetting dynamics.

Appeared in

  • Transport Processes at Fluidic Interfaces, D. Bothe, A. Reusken, eds., Advances in Mathematical Fluid Mechanics, Birkhäuser, Cham, 2017, pp. 531--574, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-56602-3 .

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