Measures of fluctuations for a liquid near critical drying

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We investigate density fluctuations in a liquid close to a solvophobic substrate at which a surface critical drying transition occurs. Using classical density functional theory, we determine three measures of the spatial extent and strength of the fluctuations, i.e., the local compressibility χμ(z), the local thermal susceptibility χT(z), and the reduced density χ∗(z); z is the distance from the substrate. While the first measure is frequently used, the second and third were introduced very recently by Eckert et al., [T. Eckert, Phys. Rev. Lett. 125, 268004 (2020)PRLTAO0031-900710.1103/PhysRevLett.125.268004]. For state points in the critical drying regime, all three measures, each scaled by its bulk value, exhibit very similar forms and the ratio of χT(z) to χμ(z), for fixed z in the vapor-liquid transition region, is constant. Using a scaling treatment of surface thermodynamics, we show that such behavior is to be expected on general grounds.

Original languageEnglish
Article number044801
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank T. Eckert and M. Schmidt for forwarding details of their work in advance of publication, which motivated our present investigation. R.E. acknowledges Leverhulme Trust Grant No. EM-2020-0294. This work used the facilities of the Advanced Computing Research Centre, University of Bristol.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Physical Society.


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