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Phys Rev Lett. 2001 Jun 11;86(24):5534-7.

Dewetting patterns and molecular forces: a reconciliation.

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  • 1Department of Applied Physics, University of Ulm, D-89069 Ulm, Germany.


We studied the dewetting of thin liquid polymer films from solid surfaces. Our experimental results lead to a consistent picture demonstrating the interplay between short- and long-range interfacial forces. Observations comprise nucleation and spinodal dewetting, as well as thermal nucleation of holes. The effective interface potential of the system, as reconstructed from the morphology of the dewetting patterns, agrees quantitatively with what is computed from the optical properties of the system. This shows that the assumption of additivity of dispersion potentials in multilayer systems yields good results.

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