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Alternative Dewetting Pathways of Thin Liquid Films

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Science  20 Aug 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5431, pp. 1254-1256
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5431.1254

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Abstract

An alternative pathway for the initiation of dewetting in thin metastable films of partially miscible liquid mixtures is described. In this pathway, phase separation is followed by a dewetting process at the interface between the two phases. Dewetting proceeds (from the sample edges inward) as holes form. The initially smooth film breaks up into droplets at rates much faster than those allowed by classical rupture mechanisms. Marangoni flow appears to be responsible for the initiation of the flow of the dewetting front, and coupling between the flow in the two phases leads to accelerated hole formation.

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