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Journal Article

Dynamical instability of thin liquid films between conducting media


Herminghaus,  Stephan
Group Granular matter and irreversibility, Department of Dynamics of Complex Fluids, Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization, Max Planck Society;

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Herminghaus, S. (1999). Dynamical instability of thin liquid films between conducting media. Physical Review Letters, 83(12), 2359-2361. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.83.2359.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0029-A950-6
It is shown that thin dielectric liquid films between electrically conducting media are dynamically unstable if the electronic work functions of the conductors are different. As a consequence, they are expected to dewet by a spinodal dewetting scenario, i.e., via amplification of surface waves with mode selection. The wave number of the fastest growing mode is discussed as a function of the strength of the electric and dispersive forces. In contrast to what seems to be widely believed, it turns out that electric forces dominate over dispersive forces in most experimental situations of the rather general type studied here.