Abstract

Surface light-scattering measurements have been carried out on thin asymmetric films of pentane on water. We vary the film thickness ℓ over a wide range (10-9 m < ℓ < 10-5 m). Compared with the ripplons wavelength 1/q, thick films of pentane (ℓ ≫ 1/q) display the same power spectrum as a pure pentane–vapor interface: a single peak. When thinning the film down to ℓ ≈ 1/q, hydrodynamic coupling between the layers of the interface is revealed by the appearance of a second peak beside the first one. We describe the thickness dependence of the two coupled modes through variations of the positions, the widths, and the amplitudes of both peaks.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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