Phase field crystal simulations of nanocrystalline grain growth in two dimensions

Kuo An Wu*, Peter W. Voorhees

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

89 Scopus citations


We study two-dimensional grain growth at the nanoscale using the phase field crystal (PFC) model. Our results show that for circular grains with large misorientations the grain area decreases linearly with time, in good agreement with classical grain growth theory. For circular grains with small initial misorientations, grain rotation occurs as a result of the coupled motion between the normal motion of the grain boundary and the tangential motion of the adjacent grains. Despite this rotation and its effect on the grain boundary energy, the grain area decreases linearly with time. In addition, for intermediate initial grain misorientations, we find a repeating faceting-defaceting transition during grain shrinkage and a different relationship between the grain area and time, which suggests a different grain growth mechanism than that for small and large misorientations. For a circular grain embedded between a bicrystal with a symmetric tilt boundary, we find that the evolution of the embedded grain closely depends on dislocation reactions at triple junctions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-419
Number of pages13
JournalActa Materialia
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • Dislocations
  • Grain boundary migration
  • Grain boundary structure
  • Modelling
  • Nanocrystalline microstructure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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