Coupled Hamiltonians and three-dimensional short-range wetting transitions

A O Parry, P S Swain

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We address three problems faced by effective interfacial Hamiltonian models of wetting based on a single collective coordinate l(y) representing the position of the unbinding fluid interface. Problems (P1) and (P2) refer to the predictions of non-universality at the upper critical dimension d=3 at critical and complete wetting, respectively, which are not borne out by Ising model simulation studies. (P3) relates to mean-field correlation function structure in the underlying continuum Landau model. Building on earlier work by Parry and Boulter we investigate the hypothesis that these concerns arise due to the coupling of order parameter fluctuations near the unbinding interface and wall. For quite general choices of collective coordinates X-i(y) we show that arbitrary two-field models H[X-1,X-2] can recover the required anomalous structure of mean-field correlation functions (P3). To go beyond mean-field theory we introduce a set H of Hamiltonians based on proper collective coordinates X-i(y) near the wall which have both interfacial and spin-like components. We argue that an optimum model H[s,l] is an element of H, in which the degree of coupling is controlled by an angle like variable delta*, best describes the non-universality of the Ising model and investigate its critical behaviour. For critical wetting the appropriate Ginzburg criterion shows that the true asymptotic critical regime for the local susceptibility chi(1) is dramatically reduced consistent with observations of mean-field behaviour in simulations (P1). For complete wetting the model yields a precise expression for the temperature dependence of the renormalised critical amplitude theta in good agreement with simulations (P2). We highlight the importance of a new wetting parameter which describes the physics that emerges due to the coupling effects. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-230
Number of pages64
JournalPhysica a-Statistical mechanics and its applications
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 1998


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