Kinetics of phase separation in thin films: simulations for the diffusive case

Das, Subir K. ; Puri, Sanjay ; Horbach, Jürgen ; Binder, K. (2005) Kinetics of phase separation in thin films: simulations for the diffusive case Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear and Soft Matter Physics, 72 (6). 061603_1-061603_13. ISSN 1539-3755

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We study the diffusion-driven kinetics of phase separation of a symmetric binary mixture (AB), confined in a thin-film geometry between two parallel walls. We consider cases where (i) both walls preferentially attract the same component (A), and (ii) one wall attracts A and the other wall attracts B (with the same strength). We focus on the interplay of phase separation and wetting at the walls, which is referred to as surface-directed spinodal decomposition 9SDSD). The formation of SDSD waves at the two surfaces, with wave vectors oriented perpendicular to them, often results in a metastable layered state (also referred to as "stratified morphology"). This state is reminiscent of the situation where the thin film is still in the one-phase region but the surfaces are completely wet, and hence coated with thick wetting layers. This metastable state decays by spinodal fluctuations and crosses over to an asymptotic growth regime characterized by the lateral coarsening of pancakelike domains. These pancakes may or may not be coated by precursors of wetting layers. We use Langevin simulations to study this crossover and the growth kinetics in the asymptotic coarsening regime.

Item Type:Article
Source:Copyright of this article belongs to The American Physical Society.
ID Code:36362
Deposited On:25 Apr 2011 07:23
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