J. Phys. II France
Volume 6, Numéro 2, February 1996
Page(s) 255 - 270
DOI: 10.1051/jp2:1996108
J. Phys. II France 6 (1996) 255-270

Discontinuous Phase Transitions of Membranes: a Monte Carlo Study

Annette Ammann and Reinhard Lipowsky

Institut für Festkörperforschung, Forschungszentrum Jülich, 52425 Jülich, Germany and Max-Planck-Institut für Kolloid- und Grenzflächenforschung, Kantstrasse 55, 14513 Teltow-Seehof, Germany

(Received 4 October 1995, received in final form 17 October 1995, accepted 25 October 1995)

Fluid membranes which experience interaction potentials with a potential barrier are studied by Monte Carlo simulations. For a symmetric double-well potential, the membranes are found to exhibit the same critical behavior as the 2-dimensional Ising model even for zero lateral tension. For an asymmetric adhesion potential with a relatively large potential barrier, the unbound phase is found to nucleate via the formation of membrane `islands' which implies a discontinuous unbinding transition.

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