We present a multiphase-field theory for describing pattern formation in multidomain and/or multicomponent systems. The construction of the free energy functional and the dynamic equations is based on criteria that ensure mathematical and physical consistency. We first analyze previous multiphase-field theories and identify their advantageous and disadvantageous features. On the basis of this analysis, we introduce a way of constructing the free energy surface and derive a generalized multiphase description for arbitrary number of phases (or domains). The presented approach retains the variational formalism, reduces (or extends) naturally to lower (or higher) number of fields on the level of both the free energy functional and the dynamic equations, enables the use of arbitrary pairwise equilibrium interfacial properties, penalizes multiple junctions increasingly with the number of phases, ensures non-negative entropy production and the convergence of the dynamic solutions to the equilibrium solutions, and avoids the appearance of spurious phases on binary interfaces. The approach is tested for multicomponent phase separation and grain coarsening.
|Journal||Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 17 2015|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics