[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Crystallization of supersaturated liquids usually starts by heterogeneous nucleation. Mounting evidence shows that even homogeneous nucleation in simple liquids takes place in two steps; first a dense amorphous precursor forms, and the crystalline phase appears via heterogeneous nucleation in/on the precursor cluster. Herein, we review recent results by a simple dynamical density functional theory, the phase-field crystal model, for (precursor-mediated) homogeneous and heterogeneous nucleation of nanocrystals. It will be shown that the mismatch between the lattice constants of the nucleating crystal and the substrate plays a decisive role in determining the contact angle and nucleation barrier, which were found to be non-monotonic functions of the lattice mismatch. Time dependent studies are essential as investigations based on equilibrium properties often cannot identify the preferred nucleation pathways. Modeling of these phenomena is essential for designing materials on the basis of controlled nucleation and/or nano-patterning.
Chemical Society Reviews 01/2014; · 24.89 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present an isothermal fluctuating nonlinear hydrodynamic theory of crystallization in molecular liquids. A dynamic coarse-graining technique is used to derive the velocity field, a phenomenology which allows a direct coupling between the free energy functional of the classical density functional theory and the Navier-Stokes equation. In contrast to the Ginzburg-Landau type amplitude theories, the dynamic response to elastic deformations is described by parameter-free kinetic equations. Employing our approach to the free energy functional of the phase-field crystal model, we recover the classical spectrum for the phonons and the steady-state growth fronts. The capillary wave spectrum of the equilibrium crystal-liquid interface is in good qualitative agreement with the molecular dynamics simulations.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A multigrid scheme has been proposed that allows efficient implementation on
modern CPUs, many integrated core devices (MICs), and graphics processing units
(GPUs). It is shown that wide single instruction multiple data (SIMD)
processing engines are used efficiently when a deep, 2h grid hierarchy is
replaced with a two level scheme using 16h-32h restriction. The restriction
length can be fitted to the SIMD width to fully utilize the capabilities of
modern CPUs and GPUs. This way, optimal memory transfer is also ensured, since
no strided memory access is required. The number of the expensive restriction
steps is greatly reduced, and these are executed on bigger chunks of data that
allows optimal caching strategies. A higher order interpolated stencil was
developed to improve convergence rate via minimizing spurious interference
between the coarse and the fine scale solutions. The method is demonstrated on
solving the pressure equation for 2D incompressible fluid flow: The benchmark
setups cover shear driven laminar flow in cavity, and direct numerical
simulation (DNS) of a turbulent jet. We show that the scheme also allows
efficient usage of distributed memory computer clusters via decreasing the
number of memory transfers between host and compute devices, and among cluster
nodes. The actual implementation uses a hybrid OpenCl/MPI based
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Here, we review the basic concepts and applications of the
phase-field-crystal (PFC) method, which is one of the latest simulation
methodologies in materials science for problems, where atomic- and microscales
are tightly coupled. The PFC method operates on atomic length and diffusive
time scales, and thus constitutes a computationally efficient alternative to
molecular simulation methods. Its intense development in materials science
started fairly recently following the work by Elder et al. [Phys. Rev. Lett. 88
(2002), p. 245701]. Since these initial studies, dynamical density functional
theory and thermodynamic concepts have been linked to the PFC approach to serve
as further theoretical fundaments for the latter. In this review, we summarize
these methodological development steps as well as the most important
applications of the PFC method with a special focus on the interaction of
development steps taken in hard and soft matter physics, respectively. Doing
so, we hope to present today's state of the art in PFC modelling as well as the
potential, which might still arise from this method in physics and materials
science in the nearby future.
Advances In Physics 07/2012; 61(6). · 34.29 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Using phase-field theory we demonstrate that osmotic stress may result in intense convection in solidifying eutectic systems. Under isothermal conditions the natural convection is of osmotic origin, and driven by the non-equilibrium composition field. Osmotic forces arise mostly in the interface layer, since large concentration gradients are localized near the triple junctions of the phases. Tuning friction forces at the solid–liquid interface controls the intensity of fluid flow. We have found that convection in the low friction regime significantly affects microstructural pattern formation. Osmotic convection-driven instability of the solid–liquid interface is observed that leads to cellular and dendritic eutectic crystal growth. The mechanism we propose is distinct from diffusive instability that is widely acknowledged as the main cause of cellular and fingerlike patterns.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A simple dynamical density functional theory is used to investigate freezing of an undercooled liquid in the presence of a crystalline substrate. We find that the adsorption of the crystalline phase on the substrate, the contact angle, and the height of the nucleation barrier are nonmonotonic functions of the lattice constant of the substrate. We show that the free-growth-limited model of particle-induced freezing by Greer et al. [Acta Mater. 48, 2823 (2000)] is valid for larger nanoparticles and a small anisotropy of the interface free energy. Faceting due to the small size of the foreign particle or a high anisotropy decouples free growth from the critical size of homogeneous nuclei.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dynamical density-functional simulations reveal structural aspects of crystal nucleation in undercooled liquids: The first appearing solid is amorphous, which promotes the nucleation of bcc crystals but suppresses the appearance of the fcc and hcp phases. These findings are associated with features of the effective interaction potential deduced from the amorphous structure.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Using atomic scale time-dependent density functional calculations we confirm that both diffusion-controlled and diffusionless crystallization modes exist in simple 2D systems. We provide theoretical evidence that a faceted to nonfaceted transition is coupled to these crystallization modes, and faceting is governed by the local supersaturation at the fluid-crystalline interface. We also show that competing modes of crystallization have a major influence on mesopattern formation. Irregularly branched and porous structures are emerging at the crossover of the crystallization modes. The proposed branching mechanism differs essentially from dendritic fingering driven by diffusive instability.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The present work explores the ubiquitous morphological changes in crystallizing systems with increasing thermodynamic driving force based on a novel dynamic density functional theory. A colloidal ‘soft’ material is chosen as a model system for our investigation since there are careful colloidal crystallization observations at a particle scale resolution for comparison, which allows for a direct verification of our simulation predictions. We particularly focus on a theoretically unanticipated, and generic, morphological transition leading to progressively irregular-shaped single crystals in both colloidal and polymeric materials with an increasing thermodynamic driving force. Our simulation method significantly extends previous ‘phase field’ simulations by incorporating a minimal description of the ‘atomic’ structure of the material, while allowing simultaneously for a description of large scale crystal growth. We discover a ‘fast’ mode of crystal growth at high driving force, suggested before in experimental colloidal crystallization studies, and find that the coupling of this crystal mode to the well-understood ‘diffusive’ or ‘slow’ crystal growth mode (giving rise to symmetric crystal growth mode and dendritic crystallization as in snowflakes by the Mullins–Sekerka instability) can greatly affect the crystal morphology at high thermodynamic driving force. In particular, an understanding of this interplay between these fast and slow crystal growth modes allows us to describe basic crystallization morphologies seen in both colloidal suspensions with increasing particle concentration and crystallizing polymer films with decreasing temperature: compact symmetric crystals, dendritic crystals, fractal-like structures, and then a return to compact symmetric single crystal growth again.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We apply a simple dynamical density functional theory, the phase-field crystal (PFC) model of overdamped conservative dynamics, to address polymorphism, crystal nucleation, and crystal growth in the diffusion-controlled limit. We refine the phase diagram for 3D, and determine the line free energy in 2D and the height of the nucleation barrier in 2D and 3D for homogeneous and heterogeneous nucleation by solving the respective Euler-Lagrange (EL) equations. We demonstrate that, in the PFC model, the body-centered cubic (bcc), the face-centered cubic (fcc), and the hexagonal close-packed structures (hcp) compete, while the simple cubic structure is unstable, and that phase preference can be tuned by changing the model parameters: close to the critical point the bcc structure is stable, while far from the critical point the fcc prevails, with an hcp stability domain in between. We note that with increasing distance from the critical point the equilibrium shapes vary from the sphere to specific faceted shapes: rhombic dodecahedron (bcc), truncated octahedron (fcc), and hexagonal prism (hcp). Solving the equation of motion of the PFC model supplied with conserved noise, solidification starts with the nucleation of an amorphous precursor phase, into which the stable crystalline phase nucleates. The growth rate is found to be time dependent and anisotropic; this anisotropy depends on the driving force. We show that due to the diffusion-controlled growth mechanism, which is especially relevant for crystal aggregation in colloidal systems, dendritic growth structures evolve in large-scale isothermal single-component PFC simulations. An oscillatory effective pair potential resembling those for model glass formers has been evaluated from structural data of the amorphous phase obtained by instantaneous quenching. Finally, we present results for eutectic solidification in a binary PFC model.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We apply a simple dynamical density functional theory, the phase-field-crystal (PFC) model, to describe homogeneous and heterogeneous crystal nucleation in 2d monodisperse colloidal systems and crystal nucleation in highly compressed Fe liquid. External periodic potentials are used to approximate inert crystalline substrates in addressing heterogeneous nucleation. In agreement with experiments in 2d colloids, the PFC model predicts that in 2d supersaturated liquids, crystalline freezing starts with homogeneous crystal nucleation without the occurrence of the hexatic phase. At extreme supersaturations crystal nucleation happens after the appearance of an amorphous precursor phase both in 2d and 3d. We demonstrate that contrary to expectations based on the classical nucleation theory, corners are not necessarily favourable places for crystal nucleation. Finally, we show that adding external potential terms to the free energy, the PFC theory can be used to model colloid patterning experiments. Comment: 21 pages, 16 figures
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We use a simple density functional approach on a diffusional time scale, to address freezing to the body-centered cubic (bcc), hexagonal close-packed (hcp), and face-centered cubic (fcc) structures. We observe faceted equilibrium shapes and diffusion-controlled layerwise crystal growth consistent with two-dimensional nucleation. The predicted growth anisotropies are discussed in relation with results from experiment and atomistic simulations. We also demonstrate that varying the lattice constant of a simple cubic substrate, one can tune the epitaxially growing body-centered tetragonal structure between bcc and fcc, and observe a Mullins-Sekerka-Asaro-Tiller-Grinfeld-type instability.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present an efficient method to solve numerically the equations of dissipative dynamics of the binary phase-field crystal model proposed by Elder et al. [K.R. Elder, M. Katakowski, M. Haataja, M. Grant, Phys. Rev. B 75 (2007) 064107] characterized by variable coefficients. Using the operator splitting method, the problem has been decomposed into sub-problems that can be solved more efficiently. A combination of non-trivial splitting with spectral semi-implicit solution leads to sets of algebraic equations of diagonal matrix form. Extensive testing of the method has been carried out to find the optimum balance among errors associated with time integration, spatial discretization, and splitting. We show that our method speeds up the computations by orders of magnitude relative to the conventional explicit finite difference scheme, while the costs of the pointwise implicit solution per timestep remains low. Also we show that due to its numerical dissipation, finite differencing can not compete with spectral differencing in terms of accuracy. In addition, we demonstrate that our method can efficiently be parallelized for distributed memory systems, where an excellent scalability with the number of CPUs is observed.
Journal of Computational Physics 01/2009; · 2.14 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Advanced phase-field techniques have been applied to address various aspects of polycrystalline solidification including different modes of crystal nucleation. The height of the nucleation barrier has been determined by solving the appropriate Euler–Lagrange equations. The examples shown include the comparison of various models of homogeneous crystal nucleation with atomistic simulations for the single-component hard sphere fluid. Extending previous work for pure systems (Gránásy et al 2007 Phys. Rev. Lett. 98 035703), heterogeneous nucleation in unary and binary systems is described via introducing boundary conditions that realize the desired contact angle. A quaternion representation of crystallographic orientation of the individual particles (outlined in Pusztai et al 2005 Europhys. Lett. 71 131) has been applied for modeling a broad variety of polycrystalline structures including crystal sheaves, spherulites and those built of crystals with dendritic, cubic, rhombo-dodecahedral and truncated octahedral growth morphologies. Finally, we present illustrative results for dendritic polycrystalline solidification obtained using an atomistic phase-field model.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present phase field simulations to estimate the conversion rate of CH(4) hydrate to CO(2) hydrate in the presence of liquid CO(2) under conditions typical for underwater gas hydrate reservoirs. In the computations, all model parameters are evaluated from physical properties taken from experiment or molecular dynamics simulations. It has been found that hydrate conversion is a diffusion controlled process, as after a short transient, the displacement of the conversion front scales with t(1/2). Assuming a diffusion coefficient of D(s) = 1.1 x 10(-11) m(2) s(-1) in the hydrate phase, the predicted time dependent conversion rate is in reasonable agreement with results from magnetic resonance imaging experiments. This value of the diffusion coefficient is higher than expected for the bulk hydrate phase, probably due to liquid inclusions remaining in the porous sample used in the experiment.
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 07/2007; 9(24):3104-11. · 3.83 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent developments to reduce fuel consumption, emission and air pollution, size and weight of engines for automotive, truck, ship propulsion and electrical power generation lead to temperature and load conditions within engines that cannot be provided by conventional bearings. Therefore a European project has been established to develop a technically usable aluminium based lead free bearing material with sufficient hardness, wear and friction properties and good corrosion resistance to be produced with semi-continuous casting process. The paper describes the scientific challenges, approaches to tackle the solidification and casting problems and presents some illustrative research results.
International Conference on Solidification Science and Processing – ICSSP III; 11/2006
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We discuss the formation of polycrystalline microstructures within the framework of phase field theory. First, the model is tested for crystal nucleation in a hard sphere system. It is shown that, when evaluating the model parameters from molecular dynamics simulations, the phase field theory predicts the nucleation barrier for hard spheres accurately. The formation of spherulites is described by an extension of the model that incorporates branching with a definite orientational mismatch. This effect is induced by a metastable minimum in the orientational free energy. Spherulites are an extreme example of polycrystalline growth, a phenomenon that results from the quenching of orientational defects (grain boundaries) into the solid as the ratio of the rotational to the translational diffusion coefficient is reduced, as is found at high undercoolings. It is demonstrated that a broad variety of spherulitic patterns can be recovered by changing only a few model parameters.
Philosophical Magazine A 08/2006; 86(24):3757-3778.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A phase field theory with model parameters evaluated from atomistic simulations/experiments is applied to predict the nucleation and growth rates of solid CO(2) hydrate in aqueous solutions under conditions typical to underwater natural gas hydrate reservoirs. It is shown that under practical conditions a homogeneous nucleation of the hydrate phase can be ruled out. The growth rate of CO(2) hydrate dendrites has been determined from phase field simulations as a function of composition while using a physical interface thickness (0.85+/-0.07 nm) evaluated from molecular dynamics simulations. The growth rate extrapolated to realistic supersaturations is about three orders of magnitude larger than the respective experimental observation. A possible origin of the discrepancy is discussed. It is suggested that a kinetic barrier reflecting the difficulties in building the complex crystal structure is the most probable source of the deviations.
The Journal of Chemical Physics 07/2006; 124(23):234710. · 3.12 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We briefly review our recent modeling of crystal nucleation and polycrystalline growth using a phase field theory. First, we consider the applicability of phase field theory for describing crystal nucleation in a model hard sphere fluid. It is shown that the phase field theory accurately predicts the nucleation barrier height for this liquid when the model parameters are fixed by independent molecular dynamics calculations. We then address various aspects of polycrystalline solidification and associated crystal pattern formation at relatively long timescales. This late stage growth regime, which is not accessible by molecular dynamics, involves nucleation at the growth front to create new crystal grains in addition to the effects of primary nucleation. Finally, we consider the limit of extreme polycrystalline growth, where the disordering effect due to prolific grain formation leads to isotropic growth patterns at long times, i.e., spherulite formation. Our model of spherulite growth exhibits branching at fixed grain misorientations, induced by the inclusion of a metastable minimum in the orientational free energy. It is demonstrated that a broad variety of spherulitic patterns can be recovered by changing only a few model parameters.
Journal of Materials Research. 01/2006; 21(02):309 - 319.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many structural materials (metal alloys, polymers, minerals, etc.) are formed by quenching liquids into crystalline solids. This highly nonequilibrium process often leads to polycrystalline growth patterns that are broadly termed "spherulites" because of their large-scale average spherical shape. Despite the prevalence and practical importance of spherulite formation, only rather qualitative concepts of this phenomenon exist. It is established that phase field methods naturally account for diffusional instabilities that are responsible for dendritic single-crystal growth. However, a generalization of this model is required to describe spherulitic growth patterns, and in the present paper we propose a minimal model of this fundamental crystal growth process. Our calculations indicate that the diversity of spherulitic growth morphologies arises from a competition between the ordering effect of discrete local crystallographic symmetries and the randomization of the local crystallographic orientation that accompanies crystal grain nucleation at the growth front [growth front nucleation (GFN)]. This randomization in the orientation accounts for the isotropy of spherulitic growth at large length scales and long times. In practice, many mechanisms can give rise to GFN, and the present work describes and explores three physically prevalent sources of disorder that lead to this kind of growth. While previous phase field modeling elucidated two of these mechanisms--disorder created by particulate impurities or other static disorder or by the dynamic heterogeneities that spontaneously form in supercooled liquids (even pure ones)--the present paper considers an additional mechanism, crystalline branching induced by a misorientation-dependent grain boundary energy, which can significantly affect spherulite morphology. We find the entire range of observed spherulite morphologies can be reproduced by this generalized phase field model of polycrystalline growth.