We study the stability of soap films of a nonionic surfactant under different applied capillary pressures on the film. Depending on the pressure, either a thick common black film (CBF), or a microscopically thin Newton black film (NBF) is formed as a (metastable) equilibrium state, with a first-order (discontinuous) transition between the two. Studying the dynamics of the CBF-NBF transition, it is found that under certain conditions a hysteresis for the transition is observed: for a given range of pressures, either of the two states may be observed. We quantify the nucleation process that is at the basis of these observations both experimentally and theoretically.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Physical Review Letters|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 2003|
Castelletto, V., Cantat, I., Sarker, D., Bausch, R., Bonn, D., & Meunier, J. (2003). Stability of soap films: hysteresis and nucleation of black films. Physical Review Letters, 90(4), 0483021-0483024.