Short-Range Wetting at Liquid Gallium-Bismuth Alloy Surfaces: X-Ray Measurements and Square-Gradient Theory
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CitationHuber, Patrick, Oleg Shpyrko, Peter S. Pershan, Ben Ocko, Elaine DiMasi, and Moshe Deutsch. 2003. Short-range wetting at liquid gallium-bismuth alloy surfaces: X-ray measurements and square-gradient theory. Physical Review B 68:085409.
AbstractWe present an x-ray reflectivity study of wetting at the free surface of the binary liquid metal alloy gallium-bismuth (Ga-Bi) in the region where the bulk phase separates into Bi-rich and Ga-rich liquid phases. The measurements reveal the evolution of the microscopic structure of the wetting films of the Bi-rich, low-surface-tension phase along several paths in the bulk phase diagram. The wetting of the Ga-rich bulk’s surface by a Bi-rich wetting film, the thickness of which is limited by gravity to only 50 Å, creates a Ga-rich/Bi-rich liquid/liquid interface close enough to the free surface to allow its detailed study by x rays. The structure of the interface is determined with Ångström resolution, which allows the application of a mean-field square gradient model extended by the inclusion of capillary waves as the dominant thermal fluctuations. The sole free parameter of the gradient model, the influence parameter \(\kappa\), that characterizes the influence of concentration gradients on the interfacial excess energy, is determined from our measurements. This, in turn, allows a calculation of the liquid/liquid interfacial tension, and a separation of the intrinsic and capillary wave contributions to the interfacial structure. In spite of expected deviations from MF behavior, based on the upper critical dimensionality (\(D_u\)=3) of the bulk, we find that the capillary wave excitations only marginally affect the short-range complete wetting behavior. A critical wetting transition that is sensitive to thermal fluctuations appears to be absent in this binary liquid-metal alloy.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:10356591
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