Fully nonlinear dynamics of stochastic thin-film dewetting
Summary: The spontaneous formation of droplets via dewetting of a thin fluid film from a solid substrate allows materials nanostructuring. Often, it is crucial to be able to control the evolution, and to produce patterns characterized by regularly spaced droplets. While thermal fluctuations are expected to play a role in the dewetting process, their relevance has remained poorly understood, particularly during the nonlinear stages of evolution that involve droplet formation. Within a stochastic lubrication framework, we show that thermal noise substantially influences the process of droplets formation. Stochastic systems feature a smaller number of droplets with a larger variability in size and space distribution, when compared to their deterministic counterparts. Finally, we discuss the influence of stochasticity on droplet coarsening for asymptotically long times.