We have studied the nonequilibrium fluctuations that occur at the interface between two miscible phases of a near-critical binary mixture during a free-diffusion process. The small-angle static scattered intensity is the superposition of nonequilibrium contributions that are due to capillary waves and to bulk fluctuations. A linearized hydrodynamic description of the fluctuations allows us to isolate the two contributions and to determine an effective surface tension for the nonequilibrium interface. As the diffuse-interface thickness increases, we observe the crossover of the contribution from the capillary waves to the bulk fluctuations.
© 2001 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: November 6, 2000
Revised Manuscript: March 28, 2001
Published: August 20, 2001
Pietro Cicuta, Alberto Vailati, and Marzio Giglio, "Capillary-to-bulk crossover of nonequilibrium fluctuations in the free diffusion of a near-critical binary liquid mixture," Appl. Opt. 40, 4140-4145 (2001)