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Wetting Layers and Dispersion Forces for a Fluid in Contact with a Vertical Wall



Richard F. Kayser, James W. Schmidt, Michael R. Moldover


When a liquid wets a vertical wall, wetting layers form on the wall high above the liquid-vapor meniscus. These layers are stabilized against gravity by dispersion forces. For SF_6 in contact with fused silica, we find layers between 20 and 40 nm thick in a range of temperatures below critical. Our results support the predictions of Dzyaloshinskii, Lifshitz, and Pitaevskii, in contrast to recent experiments which are much harder to reconcile with theory.
Physical Review Letters
Created February 18, 1985, Updated November 10, 2018