The theory of Ostwald ripening

P. W. Voorhees*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1335 Scopus citations


Developments in the theory of Ostwald ripening since the classic work of I. M. Lifshitz and V. V. Slyozov (LS) are reviewed and directions for future work are suggested. Recent theoretical work on the role of a finite volume fraction of coarsening phase on the ripening behavior of two-phase systems is reformulated in terms of a consistent set of notation through which each of the theories can be compared and contrasted. Although more theoretical work is necessary, these theories are in general agreement on the effects of a finite volume fraction of coarsening phase on the coarsening behavior of two-phase systems. New work on transient Ostwald ripening is presented which illustrates the broad range of behavior which is possible in this regime. The conditions responsible for the presence of the asymptotic state first discovered by LS, as well as the manner in which this state is approached, are also discussed. The role of elastic fields during Ostwald ripening in solid-solid mixtures is reviewed, and it is shown that these fields can play a dominant role in determining the coarsening behavior of a solid-solid system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)231-252
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Statistical Physics
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 1985


  • Ostwald ripening
  • competitive growth
  • diffusion
  • phase transformations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics


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