A boundary integral technique is employed to determine the morphological evolution of a small number of particles during Ostwald ripening in two dimensions. The approach allows the bodies to change shape consistent with interparticle diffusional interactions and the interfacial concentrations as given by the Gibbs-Thomson equation. It is shown that the strong interparticle diffusional interactions which occur at small interparticle separations can induce significant motions of the centers of mass of the particles. Such motion is shown to be a strong function of the spatial distribution of particles. The generality of the mechanism responsible for the particle migration suggests that particle motion is a generic aspect of the ripening process at high volume fractions of coarsening phase. It was found that significant shape distortions of particles during ripening requires particle arrangements which induce significant diffusional screening of regions of interface. Through particle arrangements similar to those found in solid-liquid systems during liquid phase sintering, it is shown that the formation of regions of flat interface between particles is completely consistent with an Ostwald ripening mechanism.
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