The effect of nanometre-scale structure on interfacial energy

Jeffrey J. Kuna, Kislon Voïtchovsky, Chetana Singh, Hao Jiang, Steve Mwenifumbo, Pradip K. Ghorai, Molly M. Stevens, Sharon C. Glotzer, Francesco Stellacci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Natural surfaces are often structured with nanometre-scale domains, yet a framework providing a quantitative understanding of how nanostructure affects interfacial energy, γ SL, is lacking. Conventional continuum thermodynamics treats γ SL solely as a function of average composition, ignoring structure. Here we show that, when a surface has domains commensurate in size with solvent molecules, γ SL is determined not only by its average composition but also by a structural component that causes γ SL to deviate from the continuum prediction by a substantial amount, as much as 20% in our system. By contrasting surfaces coated with either molecular- (2 nm) or larger-scale domains (

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)837-842
Number of pages6
JournalNature Materials
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Chemistry(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'The effect of nanometre-scale structure on interfacial energy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this