How to model surface diffusion using the phase-field approach

Physics – Condensed Matter – Other Condensed Matter

Scientific paper

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Submitted to "Multiscale Modeling and Simulation"

Scientific paper

It is demonstrated that the description of surface-diffusion controlled dynamics via the phase-field method is less trivial than it appears at first sight. A seemingly straightforward approach previously used in the literature is shown to fail to produce the correct asymptotics, albeit in a subtle manner. An apparently obvious alternative fails for a complementary reason. Finally, a model is constructed that asymptotically approaches known sharp-interface equations without adding undesired constraints. In order to provide a complete physical example, the model is exhibited for the elastically induced Grinfeld instability with material transport by surface diffusion. The whole analysis is carried out for three-dimensional systems to pave the way for simulations in 3D.

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