Math @ Duke

Publications [#244189] of Thomas P. Witelski
search www.ams.org.Papers Published
 Gratton, MB; Witelski, TP, Coarsening of unstable thin films subject to gravity.,
Physical Review. E, Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics, vol. 77 no. 1 Pt 2
(January, 2008),
pp. 016301, ISSN 15393755 [18351928], [doi]
(last updated on 2018/10/22)
Abstract: Thin films of viscous fluids coating hydrophobic substrates are unstable to dewetting instabilities, and longtime evolution leads to the formation of an array of nearequilibrium droplets connected by ultrathin fluid layers. In the absence of gravity, previous use of lubrication theory has shown that coarsening dynamics will ensuethe system will evolve by successively eliminating small drops to yield fewer larger drops. While gravity has only a weak influence on the initial thin film, we show that it has a significant influence on the later stages of the coarsening dynamics, dramatically slowing the rate of coarsening for large drops. Small drops are relatively unaffected, but as coarsening progresses, these aggregate into larger drops whose shape and dynamics are dominated by gravity. The change in the mean drop shape causes a corresponding gradual transition from powerlaw coarsening to a logarithmic behavior.


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