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Experimental study of liquid interfaces with compositional gradients: distortion & rupture of ultra-thin films and other effects


Eickelmann,  Stephan
Hans Riegler, Theorie & Bio-Systeme, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Max Planck Society;

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Eickelmann, S. (2018). Experimental study of liquid interfaces with compositional gradients: distortion & rupture of ultra-thin films and other effects. PhD Thesis, Universität Potsdam, Potsdam.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0002-8B0F-2
The topic of this thesis is the experimental investigation of evaporating thin films on planar solid substrates and the enrichment, the crystal growth and Marangoni flows near the three phase line in the case of partially wetting mixtures of volatile and non volatile liquids. In short, it deals with the properties of planar liquid films and with those of thin liquid sections near the three phase contact line. In both cases the liquid looses continuously one component by evaporation. One topic is the rupture behavior of ultra-thin films of binary mixtures of a volatile solvent and a nonvolatile solute. It is studied how the thickness at which the film ruptures is related to the solute crystallization at the liquid/substrate interface as soon as the solute reaches supersaturation. A universal relation between the rupture thickness and the saturation behaviour is presented. The second research subject are individual nanoparticles embedded in molecularly thin films at planar substrates. It is found that the nanoparticles cause an unexpectedly large film surface distortion (meniscus). This distortion can be measured quantitatively by conventional reflective microscopy although the nanoparticles are much smaller than the Rayleigh diffraction limit. Investigations with binary mixtures of volatile solvents and non-volatile solutes (polymers) aim at a better understanding/prediction of the final solute coverage, the time-resolved film thinning, the time-resolved solvent evaporation, and the evolution of the solute concentration within the thinning film. A quantiative theoretical description of the experimental findings is derived. Experiments of completely miscible binary mixtures of volatile liquids, which individually form continuous planar films show unexpectedly that films of mixtures are not necessarily continuous and planar. Rather, they may form surface undulations or even rupture. This is explained with surface Marangoni flows. A new method for the exceptionally fast fabrication (mm/min) of ultralong aligned diphenylalanin single crystals via dip casting is presented. It is shown how the specific evaporation conditions at the three phase line can be used for a controlled peptide crystal growth process. It is further demonstrated how the confinement inside a smalll capillary affects the peptide crystallization and how this can be understood (and used).