STABLE EQUILIBRIA OF ANISOTROPIC PARTICLES ON SUBSTRATES : A GENERALIZED WINTERBOTTOM CONSTRUCTION

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Author(s)

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2093-2118
Journal / PublicationSIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics
Volume77
Issue number6
Online published28 Nov 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

We present a new approach for predicting stable equilibrium shapes of two-dimensional crystalline islands on at substrates, as commonly occur through solid-state dewetting of thin films. The new theory is a generalization of the widely used Winterbottom construction (i.e., an extension of the Wulff construction for particles on substrates). This approach is equally applicable to cases where the crystal surface energy is isotropic, weakly anisotropic, strongly anisotropic, and "cusped". We demonstrate that, unlike in the classical Winterbottom approach, multiple equilibrium island shapes may be possible when the surface energy is strongly anisotropic. We analyze these shapes through perturbation analysis, by calculating the first and second variations of the total free energy functional with respect to contact locations and island shape. Based on this analysis, we find the necessary conditions for the equilibria to be stable to two-dimensional perturbations and exploit this through a generalization of the Winterbottom construction to identify all possible stable equilibrium shapes. Finally, we propose a dynamical evolution method based on surface diffusion mass transport to determine whether all of the stable equilibrium shapes are dynamically accessible. Applying this approach, we demonstrate that islands with Different initial shapes may evolve into Different stationary shapes and show that these dynamically determined stationary states correspond to the predicted stable equilibrium shapes, as obtained from the generalized Winterbottom construction.

Research Area(s)

  • Anisotropic surface energy, Generalized Winterbottom construction, Multiple stable equilibrium, Solid-state dewetting, Surface diffusion, Thermodynamic variation