Quantized Contact Angles in the Dewetting of a Structured Liquid
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We investigate the dewetting of a disordered melt of diblock copolymer from an ordered residual wetting layer. In contrast to simple liquids where the wetting layer has a fixed thickness and the droplets exhibit a single unique contact angle with the substrate, we find that structured liquids of diblock copolymer exhibit a discrete series of wetting layer thicknesses each producing a different contact angle. These quantized contact angles arise because the substrate and air surfaces each induce a gradient of lamellar order in the wetting layer. The interaction between the two surface profiles creates an effective interface potential that oscillates with film thickness, thus, producing a sequence of local minimums. The wetting layer thicknesses and corresponding contact angles are a direct measure of the positions and depths of these minimums. Self-consistent field theory is shown to provide qualitative agreement with the experiment.
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