Fingering Instabilities in Dewetting Nanofluids
Pauliac-Vaujour, E and Stannard, A and Martin, CP and Blunt, MO and Notingher, I and Moriarty, P and Vancea, I and Thiele, U (2008) Fingering Instabilities in Dewetting Nanofluids. Physical Review Letters, 100 . 176102-1-176102-4.
The growth of fingering patterns in dewetting nanofluids (colloidal solutions of thiol-passivated gold nanoparticles) has been followed in real time using contrast-enhanced video microscopy. The fingering instability on which we focus here arises from evaporatively-driven nucleation and growth a nanoscopically thin "precursor" solvent film behind the macroscopic contact line. We find that well-developed isotropic fingering structures only form for a narrow range of experimental parameters. Numerical simulations, based on a modification of the Monte Carlo approach introduced by Rabani et al. [Nature 426, 271 (2003)], reproduce the patterns we observe experimentally.
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