New exponent characterizing the effect of evaporation on imbibition experiments

We report imbibition experiments investigating the effect of evaporation on the interface roughness and mean interface height. We observe a new exponent characterizing the scaling of the saturated surface width. Further, we argue that evaporation can be usefully modeled by introducing a gradient in the strength of the disorder, in analogy with the gradient percolation model of Sapoval et al. By incorporating this gradient we predict a new critical exponent and a novel scaling relation for the interface width. Both the exponent value and the form of the scaling agree with the experimental results.


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