Stability of soap films: hysteresis and nucleation of black films
Castelletto, V., Cantat, I., Sarker, D.K., Bausch, R., Bonn, D. and Meunier, J. (2003) Stability of soap films: hysteresis and nucleation of black films Physical review letters, 90 (4). 0483021-0483024. ISSN 1079-7114
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.90.048302
We study the stability of soap films of a nonionic surfactant under different applied capillary pressures on the film. Depending on the pressure, either a thick common black film (CBF), or a microscopically thin Newton black film (NBF) is formed as a (metastable) equilibrium state, with a first-order (discontinuous) transition between the two. Studying the dynamics of the CBF-NBF transition, it is found that under certain conditions a hysteresis for the transition is observed: for a given range of pressures, either of the two states may be observed. We quantify the nucleation process that is at the basis of these observations both experimentally and theoretically.
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