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Scaling of correlation functions near capillary condensation

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We study the influence of wetting films on (density–density) correlations for a fluid in a slit-like geometry near capillary condensation. We show that, for systems with short-ranged forces, the interaction between the wetting films strongly enhances the amplitude of the exponential decay of correlations and, unlike the interfacial roughness, is independent of a high-momentum cut-off. The correlation function shows scaling behaviour near condensation arising from the equality of two characteristic length scales: the parallel correlation length (associated with the complete wetting films) and a length scale related to the non-local interaction between the wetting films on either side of the slit. We introduce a dimensionless amplitude ratio associated with the decay of correlations which allows us to distinguish between local and non-local effective Hamiltonian theories. Only the latter is fully consistent with microscopic density functional descriptions of correlation functions. The influence of long-ranged intermolecular forces and fluctuation effects in two dimensions is also discussed.
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Keywords: capillary condensation; correlation function; effective Hamiltonian; scaling; wetting

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Mathematics, Imperial College London, London SW7 2BZ, UK 2: Centro de Física Teórica e Computacional, Avenida Professor Gama Pinto 2 P-1649-003 Lisbon, Portugal 3: Grupo Interdisciplinar de Sistemas Complejos (GISC), Departamento de Matemáticas, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, 28911 Leganés, Madrid, Spain

Publication date: March 30, 2011

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