Wetting transitions and surface geometry

Condensed Matter lunchtime seminar

Wetting transitions and surface geometry

  • Event time: 1:00pm
  • Event date: 29th March 2004
  • Speaker: Martin Greenall (University of Edinburgh)
  • Location: Room 2511,

Event details

The wetting transition occurring as a layer of some phase at a system boundary becomes thick is one of the simplest examples of a phase transition in an inhomogeneous system. Much of the theoretical literature on this subject concentrates on fluctuation effects at continuous transitions, in the hope of finding universal behaviour. However, in real fluid systems, the thickness of the liquid layer often jumps discontinuously at the transition. When smooth growth is observed, it is found to be dominated by long-ranged inter-particle forces, and fluctuations are suppressed. Recent theoretical work suggests that the analogous transitions at non-flat substrates may be more likely to be continuous, and that fluctuations might be seen. Results from the theory of wetting at shaped surfaces may also help to resolve contradictions between the predictions of bulk and interface models of the wetting transition.

This is a weekly series of informal talks given primarily by members of the soft condensed matter and statistical mechanics groups, but is also open to members of other groups and external visitors. The aim of the series is to promote discussion and learning of various topics at a level suitable to the broad background of the group. Everyone is welcome to attend..

Find out more about Condensed Matter lunchtime seminars.