Entropy Contribution to the Line Tension: Insights from Polymer Physics, Water String Theory and the Three-Phase Tension

Edward Bormashenko


The notion of the three-phase (line) tension remains one of the most disputable notions in the surface science. A very broad range of its values has been reported. Experts even do not agree on the sign of the line tension. The polymer-chain-like model of the three-phase (triple) line enables the rough estimation of the entropic input into the value of the line tension, estimated as Γ_en≅(k_B T)/d_m ≅〖10〗^(-11) N, where d_m is the diameter of the liquid molecule. The introducing of the polymer-chain-like model of the triple line is justified by the “water string” model of the liquid state, predicting strong orientation effects for liquid molecules located in the vicinity of hydrophobic moieties. The estimated value of the entropic input into the line tension is close to experimental findings, reported by various groups.

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