Nonadditivity of van der Waals forces on liquid surfaces

Prashanth S. Venkataram, Jeremy D. Whitton, Alejandro W. Rodriguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We present an approach for modeling nanoscale wetting and dewetting of textured solid surfaces that exploits recently developed, sophisticated techniques for computing exact long-range dispersive van der Waals (vdW) or (more generally) Casimir forces in arbitrary geometries. We apply these techniques to solve the variational formulation of the Young-Laplace equation and predict the equilibrium shapes of liquid-vacuum interfaces near solid gratings. We show that commonly employed methods of computing vdW interactions based on additive Hamaker or Derjaguin approximations, which neglect important electromagnetic boundary effects, can result in large discrepancies in the shapes and behaviors of liquid surfaces compared to exact methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number030801
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 22 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability


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