Fluid Interfaces: Wetting; Critical Adsorption, van der Waals Tails, and the Concept of the Effective Interface Potential

  • S. Dietrich
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSB, volume 267)


A transparent description of wetting phenomena can be obtained from the so-called effective interface potential Ωs(l) which is the surface free energy of a wetting film with a prescribed thickness 1. From Ωs(l) one obtains directly the various types of wetting transitions as well as their associated thermal singularities. Furthermore Ωs(l) allows one to trace back the character of these interfacial phase transitions to its dependence on atomic interactions. To a large extent this approach has been carried out analytically for wetting of a wall by a one-component fluid and for interfacial wetting of the vapor phase in binary liquid mixtures. Particular attention is paid to the presence of van der Waals tails as well as to the competition between wetting phenomena and critical adsorption.


Density Profile Trial Function Triple Line Binary Liquid Mixture Complete Wetting 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Dietrich
    • 1
  1. 1.Fachbereich PhysikBergische Universität WuppertalWuppertal 1Federal Republic of Germany

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