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|