Thin films are thin layers of a liquid in which their length is much greater than their thickness. Important examples of thin films include soap bubbles, and thin films between solids for lubrication. Capillary forces are also very important in governing the physics of thin films - for more information go to Capillarity and wetting.
For more information on flow in thin films, go to: Flow of thin films
The study of thin films will play a large role in mechanics research in the future.
Thin films of spherical liquid crystal droplets in a polymer matrix can be stretched along one axis so that the droplets can then be solidified as elliptical particles. (See Optically Anisotropic Colloids of Controllable Shape)
Thin film photonic crystals can be grown using polystyrene spheres using controlled vertical drying. (See Thin film photonic crystals: synthesis and characterisation)
- R. Jones, "Soft Condensed Matter," Oxford University Press Inc., New York (2002).