Boundary Condition in Liquid Thin Films Revealed through the Thermal Fluctuations of Their Free Surfaces

Abstract : We investigate the properties of nanometric liquid films with a new non invasive technique. We measure the spontaneous thermal fluctuations of the free surfaces of liquids to probe their hydrodynamic boundary condition at a solid wall. The surface fluctuations of a silicon oil film could be described with a no-slip boundary condition for film thicknesses down to 20 nm. Oppositely, a 4 nm negative slip length had to be introduced to describe the behavior of n-hexadecane, consistently with previous Surface Force Apparatus data on the same system. Our results demonstrate that at vanishing flow a nanometric solid-like layer close to the wall may exist according to the nature of the liquid.
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B Pottier, Christian Frétigny, L Talini. Boundary Condition in Liquid Thin Films Revealed through the Thermal Fluctuations of Their Free Surfaces. Physical Review Letters, American Physical Society, 2015, 114 (22), pp.227801. ⟨10.1103/PhysRevLett.114.227801⟩. ⟨hal-01176182⟩

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