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J Phys Condens Matter. 2015 Jul 15;27(27):275104. doi: 10.1088/0953-8984/27/27/275104. Epub 2015 Jun 18.

Density functional study of condensation in capped capillaries.

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1
Department of Chemical Engineering, Imperial College London, London SW7 2AZ, UK.

Abstract

We study liquid adsorption in narrow rectangular capped capillaries formed by capping two parallel planar walls (a slit pore) with a third wall orthogonal to the two planar walls. The most important transition in confined fluids is arguably condensation, where the pore becomes filled with the liquid phase which is metastable in the bulk. Depending on the temperature T, the condensation in capped capillaries can be first-order (at T≤Tcw) or continuous (at T>Tcw), where Tcw is the capillary wetting temperature. At T>Tcw, the capping wall can adsorb mesoscopic amounts of metastable under-condensed liquid. The onset of condensation is then manifested by the continuous unbinding of the interface between the liquid adsorbed on the capping wall and the gas filling the rest of the capillary volume. In wide capped capillaries there may be a remnant of wedge filling transition, which is manifested by the adsorption of liquid drops in the corners. Our classical statistical mechanical treatment predicts a possibility of three-phase coexistence between gas, corner drops and liquid slabs adsorbed on the capping wall. In sufficiently wide capillaries we find that thick prewetting films of finite length may be nucleated at the capping wall below the boundary of the prewetting transition. Prewetting then proceeds in a continuous manner manifested by the unbinding interface between the thick and thin films adsorbed on the side walls. Our analysis is based on a detailed numerical investigation of the density functional theory for the fluid equilibria for a number of illustrative case studies.

PMID:
26086161
DOI:
10.1088/0953-8984/27/27/275104
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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