Wetting transition at the liquid-air interface of methanol-alkane mixtures

Ernesto Carrillo, Vicente Talanquer, Miguel Costas

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19 Scopus citations


Wetting transition (Tw) and consolute (CT) temperatures close to the upper critical solution temperature (UCST) have been determined for methanol + n-alkane mixtures where n = 6-12. Tw and the CT were also measured for noninteger n values, i.e., for mixtures of methanol + a binary mixture of two normal alkanes. The liquid-vapor surface tension (σLV) and the liquid-liquid interfacial tension (σLL) were measured at 25°C. For all mixtures studied the methanol rich-phase is denser than the alkane rich-phase. It is found that while the CT increases continuously, the Tw first increases and then decreases as a function of n. This is the first time that, for a homologous series of mixtures, this behavior has been found. For 6 ≤ n ≤ 8.25 the observed wetting transition was from partial wetting to nonwetting (the alkane rich-phase intrudes between the methanol rich-phase and the vapor) while for 8.5 ≤ n ≤ 12 the transition was from partial to total wetting (the methanol-rich phase intrudes between the alkane rich-phase and the vapor). Both the change of Tw and the inversion in the nature of the wetting phase with n are in qualitative agreement with the predictions of a recently developed mean-field model where a normalized parameter b, whose calculation involves σLV and σLL, plays the role of n in the experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5888-5891
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of physical chemistry
Issue number14
StatePublished - Apr 4 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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