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Crossover from First-Order to Critical Wetting in Methanol on Alkanes



J O. Indekeu, A I. Posazhennikova, David J. Ross, D Bonn, J Meunier


A mean-field theory is presented which describes the basic observations of recent experiments revealing rich wetting behaviour of n-alkane/methanol mixtures at the liquid-vapour interface. The theory is based on a microscopic lattice-gas model from which a Cahn-Landau phenomenological approach is derived. Besides the physics associated with the short-range components of the intermolecular interactions, the effects of the long-range tails of the net van der Waals forces between interfaces are also taken into account. The tricritical wetting transition, which is featured in the theory when long-range forces are ignored, is replaced by a critical prewetting transition when these forces are included. The experimental observations agree to a large extent with the predictions of the theory for short-range tricritical wetting.
Proceedings Title
Journal of Physics-Condensed Matter
Conference Dates
July 10-14, 2001
Conference Location
Oaxaca, MX
Conference Title
3rd International Workshop on Current Problems in Complex Fluids: Self-Assembling Systems


mean field theory, wetting transition


Indekeu, J. , Posazhennikova, A. , Ross, D. , Bonn, D. and Meunier, J. (2002), Crossover from First-Order to Critical Wetting in Methanol on Alkanes, Journal of Physics-Condensed Matter, Oaxaca, MX (Accessed April 14, 2024)
Created May 19, 2002, Updated October 12, 2021