Liquid-Gas Asymmetry and the Wavevector-Dependent Surface Tension

A.O. Parry, C. Rascón, R. Evans, Physical Review E 91, 030401(R) (2015)

Supplementary Material

Attempts to extend the capillary-wave theory of fluid interfacial fluctuations to microscopic wavelengths, by introducing an effective wave-vector ($q$) dependent surface tension $\sigma_\text{eff}(q)$, have encountered difficulties. There is no consensus as to even the shape of $\sigma_\text{eff}(q)$. By analysing a simple density functional model of the liquid-gas interface, we identify different schemes for separating microscopic observables into background and interfacial contributions. In order for the backgrounds of the density-density correlation function and local structure factor to have a consistent and physically meaningful interpretation in terms of weighted bulk gas and liquid contributions, the background of the total structure factor must be characterised by a microscopic $q$-dependent length $\zeta(q)$ not identified previously. The necessity of including the $q$ dependence of $\zeta(q)$ is illustrated explicitly in our model and has wider implications, i.e. in typical experimental and simulation studies, an indeterminacy in $\zeta(q)$ will always be present, reminiscent of the cut-off used in capillary-wave theory. This leads inevitably to a large uncertainty in the $q$ dependence of $\sigma_\text{eff}(q)$.

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