Instability of thin liquid films by density variations: a new mechanism that mimics spinodal dewetting. Academic Article uri icon


  • Based on the linear stability analysis and nonlinear simulations, conditions are established under which instability and dewetting of a thin liquid film can be engendered solely by the density variations (for example, due to confinement, layering, defects, and restructuring) related to changes in the local film thickness. An increase in the density with the increasing film thickness can stabilize a thermodynamically unstable film, and, equally interesting, a decrease in the density with increasing film thickness can render a thermodynamically stable film unstable. Morphological characteristics of this novel density variation induced instability closely resemble the well-known spinodal dewetting.

published proceedings

  • Phys Rev Lett

author list (cited authors)

  • Sharma, A., & Mittal, J.

citation count

  • 66

complete list of authors

  • Sharma, Ashutosh||Mittal, Jeetain

publication date

  • October 2002