Phase-field models for microstructure evolution

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The phase-field method has recently emerged as a powerful computational approach to modeling and predicting mesoscale morphological and microstructure evolution in materials. It describes a microstructure using a set of conserved and nonconserved field variables that are continuous across the interracial regions. The temporal and spatial evolution of the field variables is governed by the Cahn-Hilliard nonlinear diffusion equation and the Allen-Cahn relaxation equation. With the fundamental thermodynamic and kinetic information as the input, the phase-field method is able to predict the evolution of arbitrary morphologies and complex microstructures without explicitly tracking the positions of interfaces. This paper briefly reviews the recent advances in developing phase-field models for various materials processes including solidification, solid-state structural phase transformations, grain growth and coarsening, domain evolution in thin films, pattern formation on surfaces, dislocation microstructures, crack propagation, and electromigration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-140
Number of pages28
JournalAnnual Review of Materials Science
StatePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Materials Science


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