Coarsening dynamics of dewetting films

K. B. Glasner, T. P. Witelski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Lubrication theory for unstable thin liquid films on solid substrates is used to model the coarsening dynamics in the long-time behavior of dewetting films. The dominant physical effects that drive the fluid dynamics in dewetting films are surface tension and intermolecular interactions with the solid substrate. Instabilities in these films lead to rupture and other morphological changes that promote nonuniformity in the films. Following the initial instabilities, the films break up into near-equilibrium droplets connected by an ultrathin film. For longer times, the fluid will undergo a coarsening process in which droplets both move and exchange mass on slow time scales. The dynamics of this coarsening process will be obtained through the asymptotic reduction of the long-wave PDE governing the thin film to a set of ODEs for the evolution of the droplets. From this, a scaling law that governs the coarsening rate is derived.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12
Number of pages1
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical Physics, Plasmas, Fluids, and Related Interdisciplinary Topics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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