Europhys. Lett.
Volume 75, Number 1, July 2006
Page(s) 84 - 90
Section Condensed matter: structural, mechanical and thermal properties
Published online 02 June 2006
Europhys. Lett., 75 (1), pp. 84-90 (2006)
DOI: 10.1209/epl/i2006-10086-8

Ginzburg-Landau theory of microstructures: Stability, transient dynamics, and functionally graded nanophases

V. I. Levitas1, D. L. Preston2 and Dong-Wook Lee1

1  Texas Tech University, Center for Mechanochemistry and Synthesis of New Materials Department of Mechanical Engineering - Lubbock, TX 79409-1021, USA
2  Physics Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory - Los Alamos, NM 87545, USA

received 19 January 2006; accepted in final form 12 May 2006
published online 2 June 2006

The stability, transient dynamics, and physical interpretation of microstructures obtained from a Ginzburg-Landau theory of first-order phase transformations are studied. The Jacobi condition for stability fails numerically, thus an alternative exact stability criterion, based on critical (most destabilizing) fluctuations, is developed. The degree-of-stability parameter is introduced to quantify the physical stability of long-lived unstable microstructures. For nanofilms, the existence of functionally graded nanophases is demonstrated. Numerical simulations indicate that graded nanophases can be produced by dissolving material from both surfaces of a nanofilm. Stability under finite fluctuations and post-bifurcation microstructure evolution are investigated numerically.

64.60.-i - General studies of phase transitions.

© EDP Sciences 2006