Line and boundary tensions on approach to the wetting transition

K. Koga, B. Widom

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13 Citations (Scopus)


A mean-field density-functional model often used in the past in the study of line and boundary tensions at wetting and prewetting transitions is reanalyzed by extensive numerical calculations, approaching the wetting transition much more closely than had previously been possible. The results are what are now believed to be definitive for the model. They include strong numerical evidence for the presence of the logarithmic factors predicted by theory both in the mode of approach of the prewetting line to the triple-point line at the point of the first-order wetting transition and in the line tension itself on approach to that point. It is also demonstrated with convincing numerical precision that the boundary tension on the prewetting line and the line tension on the triple-point line have a common limiting value at the wetting transition, again as predicted by theory. As a by product of the calculations, in the model's symmetric three-phase state, far from wetting, it is found that certain properties of the model's line tension and densities are almost surely given by simple numbers arising from the symmetries, but proving that these are exact for the model remains a challenge to analytical theory.

Original languageEnglish
Article number064704
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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