Benchmark problems for numerical implementations of phase field models

A. M. Jokisaari, P. W. Voorhees, J. E. Guyer, J. Warren, O. G. Heinonen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


We present the first set of benchmark problems for phase field models that are being developed by the Center for Hierarchical Materials Design (CHiMaD) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). While many scientific research areas use a limited set of well-established software, the growing phase field community continues to develop a wide variety of codes and lacks benchmark problems to consistently evaluate the numerical performance of new implementations. Phase field modeling has become significantly more popular as computational power has increased and is now becoming mainstream, driving the need for benchmark problems to validate and verify new implementations. We follow the example set by the micromagnetics community to develop an evolving set of benchmark problems that test the usability, computational resources, numerical capabilities and physical scope of phase field simulation codes. In this paper, we propose two benchmark problems that cover the physics of solute diffusion and growth and coarsening of a second phase via a simple spinodal decomposition model and a more complex Ostwald ripening model. We demonstrate the utility of benchmark problems by comparing the results of simulations performed with two different adaptive time stepping techniques, and we discuss the needs of future benchmark problems. The development of benchmark problems will enable the results of quantitative phase field models to be confidently incorporated into integrated computational materials science and engineering (ICME), an important goal of the Materials Genome Initiative.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)139-151
Number of pages13
JournalComputational Materials Science
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Benchmark problem
  • Ostwald ripening
  • Phase field model
  • Spinodal decomposition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Computational Mathematics


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