The Cahn wetting theory predicts that, if a liquid does not wet a solid substrate at low temperature, then it will eventually wet at some higher temperature T[subscript w]. This theory has never been verified for polar liquids on solid surfaces, nor near room temperature. Nitrous oxide is polar, with a critical temperature of 36.4?C. We find that nitrous oxide does not wet sapphire below 35?C, making it suitable for studying the Cahn theory for polar liquids near room temperature.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
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