This review is a topical survey of the forces and structures in thin liquid soap films. Included is a description of both the more classical forces, such as electrostatic double-layer and dispersion forces, together with new and emerging areas of research that cover so-called 'supramolecular' forces. This latter category covers self-assembly of macromolecular structures confined in a thin-film region together with surface-induced adsorption of macromolecular complexes. In addition, recent extensions of the relation between thin-film forces and film stability are reviewed. © 1999 IOP Publishing Ltd.
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