Strongly nonlinear theory of rapid solidification near absolute stability

Katarzyna N. Kowal, Anthony L. Altieri, Stephen H. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We investigate the nonlinear evolution of the morphological deformation of a solid-liquid interface of a binary melt under rapid solidification conditions near two absolute stability limits. The first of these involves the complete stabilization of the system to cellular instabilities as a result of large enough surface energy. We derive nonlinear evolution equations in several limits in this scenario and investigate the effect of interfacial disequilibrium on the nonlinear deformations that arise. In contrast to the morphological stability problem in equilibrium, in which only cellular instabilities appear and only one absolute stability boundary exists, in disequilibrium the system is prone to oscillatory instabilities and a second absolute stability boundary involving attachment kinetics arises. Large enough attachment kinetics stabilize the oscillatory instabilities. We derive a nonlinear evolution equation to describe the nonlinear development of the solid-liquid interface near this oscillatory absolute stability limit. We find that strong asymmetries develop with time. For uniform oscillations, the evolution equation for the interface reduces to the simple form f′′+(βf′)2+f=0, where β is the disequilibrium parameter. Lastly, we investigate a distinguished limit near both absolute stability limits in which the system is prone to both cellular and oscillatory instabilities and derive a nonlinear evolution equation that captures the nonlinear deformations in this limit. Common to all these scenarios is the emergence of larger asymmetries in the resulting shapes of the solid-liquid interface with greater departures from equilibrium and larger morphological numbers. The disturbances additionally sharpen near the oscillatory absolute stability boundary, where the interface becomes deep-rooted. The oscillations are time-periodic only for small-enough initial amplitudes and their frequency depends on a single combination of physical parameters, including the morphological number, as well as the amplitude. The critical amplitude, at which solutions loose periodicity, depends on a single combination of parameters independent of the morphological number that indicate that non-periodic growth is most commonly present for moderate disequilibrium parameters. The spatial distribution of the interface develops deepening roots at late times. Similar spatial distributions are also seen in the limit in which both the cellular and oscillatory modes are close to absolute stability, and the roots deepen with larger departures from the two absolute stability boundaries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number042801
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 9 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability


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