Morphology of critical nuclei in solid-state phase transformations

Lei Zhang, Long Qing Chen, Qiang Du

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Predicting the shape of a critical nucleus in solids has been a long-standing problem in solid-state phase transformations. We show that a diffuse-interface approach together with a minimax algorithm is able to predict the critical nucleus morphology in elastically anisotropic solids without a priori assumptions. We demonstrate the possibility of nonconvex surfaces for critical nuclei. It is found that strong elastic energy contributions may lead to critical nuclei whose point group symmetry is below the crystalline symmetries of both the new and the parent phases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number265703
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number26
StatePublished - Jun 28 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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