Estimation of line tension and contact angle from heterogeneous nucleation experimental data

Hienola, A. I.; Winkler, P. M.; Wagner, P. E.; Vehkamäki, H.; Lauri, A.; Napari, I.; Kulmala, M.
March 2007
Journal of Chemical Physics;3/7/2007, Vol. 126 Issue 9, p094705
Academic Journal
Using the classical nucleation theory corrected with line tension and experimental data of heterogeneous nucleation of n-nonane, n-propanol, and their mixture on silver particles of three different sizes, the authors were able to estimate the line tensions and the microscopic contact angles for the above mentioned systems. To do this they applied generalized Young’s equation for the line tension and calculated the interfacial tensions using Li and Neumann's equation [Adv. Colloid Interface Sci. 39, 299 (1992)]. It has been found that, for both unary and binary systems, the line tension is negative and the resulting microscopic contact angle derived from experimental nucleation data is most of the time larger than the macroscopic one. This is in contrast to earlier studies where the influence of line tension has not been accounted for. The values of the three phase contact line tension obtained in this way are of the same order of magnitude as the estimations for other systems reported in literature. The line tension effect also decreases considerably the nucleation barrier.


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