Date of Award
Master of Science (MSc)
Physics and Astronomy
This thesis describes the experimental results of liquid polymer droplets levelling on thin films of identical polymer liquid. Through varying the thickness of the underlying polymer film relative to the size of the droplet height, we have observed a crossover in the dynamics between droplets spreading on very thin films to droplets levelling on films thicker than the droplet itself. In the thin film regime, the underlying film behaves as a pre-existing precursor film and the droplet spreads according to the well-known Tanner's law where the droplet height, d0, decreases in time as d0 ~ t-1/5. In the opposite regime, when the film thickness is much greater than the initial droplet height, the droplet levels with a much stronger time dependence compared to Tanner's law spreading, d0 ~ t-1/2. Not only have we observed the two extreme cases, we have also experimentally observed levelling behaviour of intermediate systems, where the droplet height and film height are on the same order. We have captured experimentally the crossover behaviour of droplets spreading on thin films to droplets levelling on thick films. In addition, we have developed a theoretical model that accurately captures the physics of this crossover using the lubrication approximation for thin film flows. The relevant background information will be presented as well as a detailed description of the sample preparation techniques required to fabricate spherical caps atop thin films of identical material.
Cormier, Sara L., "Polymer Droplets Levelling on Thin Films of Identical Polymer" (2012). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 7243.
McMaster University Library