Evolution of material voids for highly anisotropic surface energy

M. Siegel, M. J. Miksis, P. W. Voorhees

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37 Scopus citations


In this paper we consider the evolution by surface diffusion of material voids in a linearly elastic solid, focusing on the evolution of voids with large surface energy anisotropy. It is well known that models for the time evolution of similar material surfaces can become mathematically ill-posed when the surface energy is highly anisotropic. In some cases, this ill-posedness has been associated with the formation of corners along the interface. Here the ill-posedness is removed through a regularization which incorporates higher order terms in the surface energy. Spectrally accurate numerical simulations are performed to calculate the steady-state solution branches and time-dependent evolution of voids, with a particular emphasis on inferring trends in the zero regularization (c→0) limit. For steady voids with large anisotropy we find that apparent corners form as c→0. In the presence of elastic stresses σ the limiting corner angles are most often found to differ from angles found on the (σ=0) Wulff shape. For large elastic stresses we find that steady solutions no longer exist; instead the void steadily lengthens via a filamenting instability referred to as tip streaming.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1319-1353
Number of pages35
JournalJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


  • Anisotropy
  • Elasticity
  • Surface diffusion
  • Surface energy
  • Void


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