Diffuse-interface description of strain-dominated morphology of critical nuclei in phase transformations

Lei Zhang, Long Qing Chen, Qiang Du

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


A diffuse interface model combined with the minimax technique is implemented to predict the morphology of critical nuclei during solid to solid phase transformations in both two and three dimensions. It takes into account the anisotropic interfacial energy as well as the anisotropic long-range elastic interactions. It is demonstrated that the morphology of critical nuclei in cubically anisotropic solids can be efficiently predicted by the computational model without a priori assumptions. A particular example of cubic to cubic transformation within the homogeneous modulus approximation is considered. The effect of elastic energy contribution on the size and shape of a critical nucleus is studied. It is shown that strong elastic energy interactions may lead to critical nuclei with a wide variety of shapes, including plates, needles and cuboids with non-convex interfaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3568-3576
Number of pages9
JournalActa Materialia
Issue number14
StatePublished - Aug 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Metals and Alloys


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