Migration of inclusions in a matrix due to a spatially varying interface energy

TitleMigration of inclusions in a matrix due to a spatially varying interface energy
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsZhang Q, Barnett S, Voorhees P
JournalScripta Materialia
KeywordsBulk diffusion, Interface diffusion, Interface energy depends on a field varying with location, Particle migration

An interfacial energy can be a function of a bulk field such as temperature or electric field. We find that in a system with a gradient in temperature or electric potential, the resulting variation in interfacial energy can induce a particle to migrate by either surface or bulk diffusion. For a circular particle under a constant unidirectional gradient in the bulk field, the field dependence of the interfacial energy induces a circular particle to move as a circle at a constant velocity along the direction from higher to lower interfacial energy. A linear stability analysis of this steady state migration suggests that perturbations will damp out as time evolves, and thus under these conditions a migrating circular particle is morphologically stable. Other spatial distributions of interface energy can lead to the distortion of an initially circular shaped particle during migration. A phase field model is developed that captures these distortions and verifies the theoretical results mentioned above.