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July 2021 Local and global geometry of the 2D Ising interface in critical prewetting
Shirshendu Ganguly, Reza Gheissari
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Ann. Probab. 49(4): 2076-2140 (July 2021). DOI: 10.1214/21-AOP1505


Consider the Ising model at low temperatures and positive external field λ on an N×N box with Dobrushin boundary conditions that are plus on the north, east and west boundaries and minus on the south boundary. If λ=0, the interface separating the plus and minus phases is diffusive, having O(N) height fluctuations, and the model is fully wetted. Under an order one field, the interface fluctuations are O(1), and the interface is only partially wetted, being pinned to its southern boundary. We study the critical prewetting regime of λN0, where the height fluctuations are expected to scale as λ1/3 and the rescaled interface is predicted to converge to the Ferrari–Spohn diffusion. Velenik (Probab. Theory Related Fields 129 (2004) 83–112) identified the order of the area under the interface up to logarithmic corrections. Since then, more refined features of such interfaces have only been identified in simpler models of random walks under area tilts.

In this paper we resolve several conjectures of Velenik regarding the refined features of the Ising interface in the critical prewetting regime. Our main result is a sharp bound on the one-point height fluctuation, proving eΘ(x3/2) upper tails reminiscent of the Tracy–Widom distribution, capturing a tradeoff between the locally Brownian oscillations and the global field effect. We further prove a concentration estimate for the number of points above which the interface attains a large height. These are used to deduce various geometric properties of the interface, including the order and tails of the area it confines and the polylogarithmic prefactor governing its maximum height fluctuation. Our arguments combine classical inputs from the random-line representation of the Ising interface with novel local resampling and coupling schemes.

Funding Statement

S.G. is partially supported by NSF Grant DMS-1855688, NSF CAREER Award DMS-1945172 and a Sloan Research Fellowship. R.G. thanks the Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science for its support.


The authors thank the anonymous referee for helpful comments and Yvan Velenik for useful discussions.


Download Citation

Shirshendu Ganguly. Reza Gheissari. "Local and global geometry of the 2D Ising interface in critical prewetting." Ann. Probab. 49 (4) 2076 - 2140, July 2021.


Received: 1 June 2020; Revised: 1 December 2020; Published: July 2021
First available in Project Euclid: 13 May 2021

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1214/21-AOP1505

Primary: 60K35, 82B24
Secondary: 82B20, 82B41

Rights: Copyright © 2021 Institute of Mathematical Statistics


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Vol.49 • No. 4 • July 2021
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