Dewetting of polymeric films: unresolved issues
Department of Chemical Engineering and Texas Materials Institute, University of Texas at Austin, TX 78712, Austin, USA
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Since the early seminal theoretical work by Brochard and coworkers, and experiments by Reiter over a decade ago, considerable progress has been made toward the development of a comprehensive picture of the “equilibrium” and dynamic behavior of unstable thin polymeric films. Generally, theoretical work has carefully guided the design of many experiments conducted in this field. Recent experimental findings, however, raise new questions that could probably not have been foreseen by theory and now need to be revisited. In this paper we highlight three problems in two general areas, (1) the use of the effective interfacial potential describing film substrate interactions and (2) the dynamics of dewetting and the associated connection to “slip” phenomena and fingering instabilities. We suggest that in addition to experiments, analytical theory and simulations will play a critical role toward elucidating the ultimate goal of a universal picture of “equilibrium” and dynamic behavior of instabilities in thin films.
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, and Springer-Verlag, 2003