We report a theoretical and numerical investigation of the linear and nonlinear dynamics of a thin liquid film of viscosity μ sandwiched between a solid substrate and an unbounded liquid bath of viscosity . In the limit of negligible inertia, the flow depends on two non-dimensional parameters, namely, λ and a dimensionless measure of the relative strengths of the stabilizing surface tension force and the destabilizing van der Waals force between the substrate and the film. We first analyze the linear stability of the film, providing an analytical dispersion relation. When the viscosity of the outer bath is much larger than that of the film, , the most amplified wavenumber decreases as , indicating that very slender dewetting structures are expected when λ becomes large. We then perform fully nonlinear simulations of the complete Stokes equations to investigate the spatial structure of the flow close to rupture revealing that the flow becomes self-similar with the minimum film thickness scaling as when , where τ is the time remaining before the singularity. It is demonstrated that the presence of an outer liquid bath affects the self-similar structure obtained by Moreno-Boza et al. [“Stokes theory of thin-film rupture,” Phys. Rev. Fluids 5, 014002 (2020)] through the prefactor of the film thinning law, , and the opening angle of the self-similar film shape, which is shown to decrease with λ.
The influence of an outer bath on the dewetting of an ultrathin liquid film
A. Martínez-Calvo, D. Moreno-Boza, J. F. Guil-Pedrosa, A. Sevilla; The influence of an outer bath on the dewetting of an ultrathin liquid film. Physics of Fluids 1 September 2023; 35 (9): 092113. https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0167725
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