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Soft Matter and Biological Physics

Eur. Phys. J. E 5, 465-470 (2001)

Renormalized tricritical behaviour for wetting transitions

C.J. Boulter and F. Clarysse

Department of Mathematics, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh EH14 4AS, UK


(Received 4 January 2001 and Received in final form 11 May 2001)

In this paper we study tricritical wetting behaviour in three dimensions. In particular we concentrate on systems with short-ranged forces and apply linear functional renormalization group techniques to elucidate the effect of fluctuations upon tricriticality. In comparison with studies of critical wetting we identify an additional fluctuation regime which is relevant for values of the capillary parameter between 2/9 and 1/2. We demonstrate that this regime essentially provides a crossover from mean-field like behaviour, in which tricritical exponents are always distinct from their critical counterparts, from intermediate- and strong-fluctuation behaviour where the critical exponents for tricritical and critical wetting are found to always coincide. We conclude by discussing briefly the possible relevance of these results for experimental studies of wetting.

68.08.Bc - Wetting.
64.60.Kw - Multicritical points.
68.35.Rh - Phase transitions and critical phenomena.

© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag 2001