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Issue 7, 2008
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Interfacial phase transitions in conducting fluids

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We present a review, largely based on recent experimental work of our group, on phase transitions at interfaces of fluid metals, alloys and ionic liquids. After a brief analysis of possible experimental errors and limitations of surface sensitive methods, we first deal with first-order wetting transitions at the liquid/vapour and liquid/wall interface in systems such as Ga-based alloys, K–KCl melts, and fluid Hg. The following chapter refers to surface freezing or surface induced crystallization in different metal alloys. The respective surface phase diagrams are discussed in comparison with their bulk counterpart. In the last part we present very recent investigations of ionic liquid interfaces, including order–disorder transitions at the liquid/vapour interface and examples of two-dimensional phase transitions at the electrified ionic liquid/metal interface. Finally, a simple electrowetting experiment with an ionic liquid droplet under vacuum is described which gives new insight into the contact angle saturation problem. The article ends up with a few perspective remarks on open problems and potential impact of interfacial phenomena on applied research.

Graphical abstract: Interfacial phase transitions in conducting fluids

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Publication details

The article was received on 07 Sep 2007, accepted on 26 Oct 2007 and first published on 16 Nov 2007

Article type: Perspective
DOI: 10.1039/B713710A
Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2008,10, 923-936

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    Interfacial phase transitions in conducting fluids

    W. Freyland, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2008, 10, 923
    DOI: 10.1039/B713710A

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