Instability in a system of two interacting liquid films: Formation of liquid bridges between solid surfaces

Forcada, Mikel L.
January 1993
Journal of Chemical Physics;1/1/1993, Vol. 98 Issue 1, p638
Academic Journal
A theoretical study of systems composed of two solid-supported liquid films that are subject to a mutual attractive interaction reveals the existence of a mechanical instability: for distances closer than a certain threshold value, the system composed by two separate liquid films has no stable equilibrium configurations, and the system collapses to form a single liquid body. The sudden condensation of a connecting liquid bridge when two solid surfaces are brought to close proximity inside an undersaturated medium has been observed experimentally using the surface-force apparatus [see, e.g., Christenson et al., Phys. Rev. B 39, 11750 (1989)]. In this paper, these results are explained as follows: first, liquid films condense on the surfaces; then, if the distance is short enough, the films jump to contact, because of a mechanical instability due to attractive interactions.


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