## Abstract

In a simple fluid or Ising magnet in a thin film geometry confined between walls a distance D apart that exert opposing surface fields, an interface parallel to the walls is stabilized below the bulk critical temperature T_{cb}. While this interface is "delocalized" (i.e., freely fluctuating in the center of the film) for T_{cb}>T>T_{c}(D), below the "interface localization transition" temperature T_{c}(D) the interface is bound to one of the walls. Using the mean field description of Parry and Evans [Physica A 181, 250 (1992)], we develop a k^{-1} Ginzburg criterion to show that the Ginzburg number scales exponentially with thickness, Gi∞exp( - κD/2), κ^{-1} being the appropriate transverse length scale associated with the interface. Therefore, mean field theory is self-consistent for large D, thus explaining why recent Monte Carlo simulations observed Ising criticality only in a very close neighborhood of T_{c}(D). A crossover scaling description is used to work out the thickness dependence of the critical amplitudes in the Ising critical regime. Extending these concepts to consider finite size effects associated with the lateral linear dimension L, we reanalyze the Monte Carlo results of Binder, Landau, and Ferrenberg [Phys. Rev. B 51, 2823 (1995)]. The data are in reasonable agreement with the theory, provided one accepts the suggestion of Parry et al. [Physica A 218, 77 (1995); 218, 109 (1995)] that the length scale κ^{-1}=ξ_{b}(1 + ω/2), where ξ_{b} is the true correlation range in the bulk, and ω is the universal amplitude associated with the interfacial stiffness.

Original language | English |
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Pages (from-to) | 5023-5034 |

Number of pages | 12 |

Journal | Physical Review E: Statistical Physics, Plasmas, Fluids, and Related Interdisciplinary Topics |

Volume | 53 |

Issue number | 5 SUPPL. B |

Publication status | Published - May 1996 |