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Capillary Levelling of Immiscible Bilayer Films

Abstract : Flow in thin films is highly dependent on the boundary conditions. Here, we study the capillary levelling of thin bilayer films composed of two immiscible liquids. Specifically, a stepped polymer layer is placed atop another, flat polymer layer. The Laplace pressure gradient resulting from the curvature of the step induces flow in both layers, which dissipates the excess capillary energy stored in the stepped interface. The effect of different viscosity ratios between the bottom and top layers is investigated. We invoke a long-wave expansion of low-Reynolds-number hydrodynamics to model the energy dissipation due to the coupled viscous flows in the two layers. Good agreement is found between the experiments and the model. Analysis of the latter further reveals an interesting double crossover in time, from Poiseuille flow, to plug flow, and finally to Couette flow. The crossover time scales depend on the viscosity ratio between the two liquids, allowing for the dissipation mechanisms to be selected and finely tuned by varying this ratio.
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Contributor : Thomas Salez <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, May 5, 2020 - 9:04:13 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, May 6, 2020 - 1:42:23 AM


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  • HAL Id : hal-02560752, version 1
  • ARXIV : 2005.01974



Vincent Bertin, Carmen Lee, Thomas Salez, Elie Raphael, Kari Dalnoki-Veress. Capillary Levelling of Immiscible Bilayer Films. 2020. ⟨hal-02560752⟩



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