Capillary instabilities by fluctuation induced forces
Materials Science Center, University of Groningen, Nijenborgh 4, 9747 AG, Groningen, The Netherlands
2 Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, 01307, Dresden, Germany
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The spontaneous break-up of thin films is commonly attributed to the destabilizing effect of van der Waals forces. Dispersion forces can be considered in terms of the confinement of the electromagnetic fluctuation spectrum. The principle of confinement is more general than the usual argument of interacting dipole fluctuations. It includes also disjoining pressures that are caused by thermal fluctuations. In this context, we review recent publications on the dewetting of thin polymer films, and argue that the presence of an acoustic disjoining pressure is necessary to adequately describe some of these experimental results.
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, and Springer-Verlag, 2003