Novel self-organization mechanism in ultrathin liquid films: Theory and experiment

Justin Trice, Christopher Favazza, Dennis Thomas, Hernando Garcia, Ramki Kalyanaraman, Radhakrishna Sureshkumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


When an ultrathin metal film of thickness h (<20nm) is melted by a nanosecond pulsed laser, the film temperature is a nonmonotonic function of h and achieves its maximum at a certain thickness h*. This is a consequence of the h and time dependence of energy absorption and heat flow. Linear stability analysis and nonlinear dynamical simulations that incorporate such intrinsic interfacial thermal gradients predict a characteristic pattern length scale Λ that decreases for h>h*, in contrast to the classical spinodal dewetting behavior where Λ increases monotonically as h2. These predictions agree well with experimental observations for Co and Fe films on SiO2.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number017802
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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