Polycrystalline solidification

Biomineralization as a Paradigm of Directional Solidification: A Physical Model for Molluscan Shell Ultrastructural Morphogenesis

Vanessa Schoeppler1, László Gránásy2,3, Elke Reich1, Nicole Poulsen1, René de Kloe4, Phil Cook5, Alexander Rack, Tamás Pusztai2, Igor Zlotnikov1

1B CUBE - Center for Molecular Bioengineering, Technische Universität Dresden, Germany
2Institute for Solid State Physics and Optics, Wigner Research Centre for Physics, P.O. Box 49, Budapest H-1525, Hungary
3BCAST, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 3PH, United Kingdom
4EDAX, Tilburg, The Netherlands
5ESRF – The European Synchrotron, Grenoble, France

Molluscan shells are a model system to understand the fundamental principles of mineral formation by living organisms. The diversity of unconventional mineral morphologies and 3D mineral-organic architectures that comprise these tissues, in combination with their exceptional mechanical efficiency, offers a unique platform to study the formation-structure-function relationship in a biomineralized system. However, so far, morphogenesis of these ultrastructures is poorly understood. Here, a comprehensive physical model, based on the concept of directional solidification, is developed to describe molluscan shell biomineralization. The capacity of the model to define the forces and thermodynamic constraints that guide the morphogenesis of the entire shell construct-the prismatic and nacreous ultrastructures and their transitions-and govern the evolution of the constituent mineralized assemblies on the ultrastructural and nanostructural levels is demonstrated using the shell of the bivalve Unio pictorum. Thereby, explicit tools for novel bioinspired and biomimetic bottom-up materials design are provided.

Topics: Polycrystalline solidification

Topological defects in two-dimensional orientation-field models for grain growth

Bálint Korbuly1, Mathis Plapp2, Hervé Henry2, James A. Warren3, László Gránásy1,4, Tamás Pusztai1

1Institute for Solid State Physics and Optics, Wigner Research Centre for Physics, P.O. Box 49, Budapest H-1525, Hungary
2Laboratoire Physique de la Matière Condensée, École Polytechnique, CNRS, Université Paris-Saclay, 91128 Palaiseau Cedex, France
3Metallurgy Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899, USA
4BCAST, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 3PH, United Kingdom

Standard two-dimensional orientation-field-based phase-field models rely on a continuous scalar field to represent crystallographic orientation. The corresponding order parameter space is the unit circle, which is not simply connected. This topological property has important consequences for the resulting multigrain structures: (i) trijunctions may be singular; (ii) for each pair of grains there exist two different grain boundary solutions that cannot continuously transform to one another; (iii) if both solutions appear along a grain boundary, a topologically stable, singular point defect must exist between them. While (i) can be interpreted in the classical picture of grain boundaries, (ii) and therefore (iii) cannot. In addition, singularities cause difficulties, such as lattice pinning in numerical simulations. To overcome these problems, we propose two formulations of the model. The first is based on a three-component unit vector field, while in the second we utilize a two-component vector field with an additional potential. In both cases, the additional degree of freedom introduced makes the order parameter space simply connected, which removes the topological stability of these defects.

Topics: Orientation field models, Polycrystalline solidification

Hydrodynamic theory of freezing: Nucleation and polycrystalline growth

Frigyes Podmaniczky1, Gyula Tóth2,1, György Tegze1, László Gránásy1,3

1Institute for Solid State Physics and Optics, Wigner Research Centre for Physics, P.O. Box 49, Budapest H-1525, Hungary
2Institute of Physics and Technology, University of Bergen, Allégaten 55, N-5007 Bergen, Norway
3BCAST, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 3PH, United Kingdom

Structural aspects of crystal nucleation in undercooled liquids are explored using a nonlinear hydrodynamic theory of crystallization proposed recently [G. I. Tóth et al., J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 26, 055001 (2014)], which is based on combining fluctuating hydrodynamics with the phase- field crystal theory. We show that in this hydrodynamic approach not only homogeneous and heterogeneous nucleation processes are accessible, but also growth front nucleation, which leads to the formation of new (differently oriented) grains at the solid-liquid front in highly undercooled systems. Formation of dislocations at the solid-liquid interface and interference of density waves ahead of the crystallization front are responsible for the appearance of the new orientations at the growth front that lead to spherulite-like nanostructures.

Videos of growth front nucleation

Topics: Polycrystalline solidification

Grain coarsening in two-dimensional phase-field models with an orientation field

Bálint Korbuly1, Tamás Pusztai1, Hervé Henry2, Mathis Plapp2, Markus Apel3, László Gránásy1,4

1Institute for Solid State Physics and Optics, Wigner Research Centre for Physics, P.O. Box 49, Budapest H-1525, Hungary
2Laboratoire Physique de la Matière Condensée, École Polytechnique, CNRS, Université Paris-Saclay, 91128 Palaiseau Cedex, France
3Access e.V., Intzestr. 5, 52072 Aachen, Germany
4BCAST, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 3PH, United Kingdom

In the literature, contradictory results have been published regarding the form of the limiting (long-time) grain size distribution (LGSD) that characterizes the late stage grain coarsening in two-dimensional and quasi-two-dimensional polycrystalline systems. While experiments and the phase-field crystal (PFC) model (a simple dynamical density functional theory) indicate a lognormal distribution, other works including theoretical studies based on conventional phase-field simulations that rely on coarse grained fields, like the multi-phase-field (MPF) and orientation field (OF) models, yield significantly different distributions. In a recent work, we have shown that the coarse grained phase-field models (whether MPF or OF) yield very similar limiting size distributions that seem to differ from the theoretical predictions. Herein, we revisit this problem, and demonstrate in the case of OF models [by R. Kobayashi et al., Physica D 140, 141 (2000) and H. Henry et al. Phys. Rev. B 86, 054117 (2012)] that an insufficient resolution of the small angle grain boundaries leads to a lognormal distribution close to those seen in the experiments and the molecular scale PFC simulations. Our work indicates, furthermore, that the LGSD is critically sensitive to the details of the evaluation process, and raises the possibility that the differences among the LGSD results from different sources may originate from differences in the detection of small angle grain boundaries.

Topics: Orientation field models, Polycrystalline solidification

Orientation-field models for polycrystalline solidification: grain coarsening and complex growth forms

Bálint Korbuly1, Tamás Pusztai1, Gyula Tóth2,1, Hervé Henry3, Mathis Plapp3, László Gránásy1,4

1Institute for Solid State Physics and Optics, Wigner Research Centre for Physics, P.O. Box 49, Budapest H-1525, Hungary
2Institute of Physics and Technology, University of Bergen, Allégaten 55, N-5007 Bergen, Norway
3Laboratoire Physique de la Matière Condensée, École Polytechnique, CNRS, Université Paris-Saclay, 91128 Palaiseau Cedex, France
4BCAST, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 3PH, United Kingdom

We compare two versions of the phase-field theory for polycrystalline solidification, both relying on the concept of orientation fields: one by Kobayashi et al. [Physica D 140 (2000) 141] and the other by Henry et al. [Phys. Rev. B 86 (2012) 054117]. Setting the model parameters so that the grain boundary energies and the time scale of grain growth are comparable in the two models, we first study the grain coarsening process including the limiting grain size distribution, and compare the results to those from experiments on thin films, to the models of Hillert, and Mullins, and to predictions by multiphase-field theories. Next, following earlier work by Gránásy et al. [Phys. Rev. Lett. 88 (2002) 206105; Phys. Rev. E 72 (2005) 011605], we extend the orientation field to the liquid state, where the orientation field is made to fluctuate in time and space, and employ the model for describing of multi-dendritic solidification, and polycrystalline growth, including the formation of “dizzy” dendrites disordered via the interaction with foreign particles.

Topics: Orientation field models, Polycrystalline solidification

Phase-Field Modeling of Polycrystalline Solidification: From Needle Crystals to Spherulites-A Review

László Gránásy1,2, László Rátkai1, Attila Szállás1, Bálint Korbuly1, Gyula Tóth3,1, László Környei4, Tamás Pusztai1

1Institute for Solid State Physics and Optics, Wigner Research Centre for Physics, P.O. Box 49, Budapest H-1525, Hungary
2BCAST, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 3PH, United Kingdom
3Institute of Physics and Technology, University of Bergen, Allégaten 55, N-5007 Bergen, Norway
4Department of Mathematics and Computational Sciences, Széchenyi István University, Győr 9026, Hungary

Advances in the orientation-field-based phase-field (PF) models made in the past are reviewed. The models applied incorporate homogeneous and heterogeneous nucleation of growth centers and several mechanisms to form new grains at the perimeter of growing crystals, a phenomenon termed growth front nucleation. Examples for PF modeling of such complex polycrystalline structures are shown as impinging symmetric dendrites, polycrystalline growth forms (ranging from disordered dendrites to spherulitic patterns), and various eutectic structures, including spiraling two-phase dendrites. Simulations exploring possible control of solidification patterns in thin films via external fields, confined geometry, particle additives, scratching/piercing the films, etc. are also displayed. Advantages, problems, and possible solutions associated with quantitative PF simulations are discussed briefly.

Topics: Polycrystalline solidification, Spiral eutectic dendrites

Phase-field approach to polycrystalline solidification including heterogeneous and homogeneous nucleation

Tamás Pusztai1, György Tegze1, Gyula Tóth2,1, László Környei3, Gurvinder Bansel4, Zhongyun Fan4, László Gránásy1,4

1Institute for Solid State Physics and Optics, Wigner Research Centre for Physics, P.O. Box 49, Budapest H-1525, Hungary
2Institute of Physics and Technology, University of Bergen, Allégaten 55, N-5007 Bergen, Norway
3Department of Mathematics and Computational Sciences, Széchenyi István University, Győr 9026, Hungary
4BCAST, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 3PH, United Kingdom

Advanced phase-field techniques have been applied to address various aspects of polycrystalline solidification including different modes of crystal nucleation. The height of the nucleation barrier has been determined by solving the appropriate Euler-Lagrange equations. The examples shown include the comparison of various models of homogeneous crystal nucleation with atomistic simulations for the single-component hard sphere fluid. Extending previous work for pure systems [Gránásy et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 98, 035703 (2007)], heterogeneous nucleation in unary and binary systems is described via introducing boundary conditions that realize the desired contact angle. A quaternion representation of crystallographic orientation of the individual particles [outlined in Pusztai et al., Europhys. Lett. 71, 131 (2005)] has been applied for modeling a broad variety of polycrystalline structures including crystal sheaves, spherulites and those built of crystals with dendritic, cubic, rhombo-dodecahedral and truncated octahedral growth morphologies. Finally, we present illustrative results for dendritic polycrystalline solidification obtained using an atomistic phase-feld model.

Topics: Polycrystalline solidification

Polycrystalline patterns in far-from-equilibrium freezing: a phase field study

László Gránásy1,2, Tamás Pusztai1, T Börzsönyi, Gyula Tóth3,1, György Tegze1, James A. Warren4, Jack F. Douglas5

1Institute for Solid State Physics and Optics, Wigner Research Centre for Physics, P.O. Box 49, Budapest H-1525, Hungary
2BCAST, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 3PH, United Kingdom
3Institute of Physics and Technology, University of Bergen, Allégaten 55, N-5007 Bergen, Norway
4Metallurgy Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899, USA
5Polymers Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology,Gaithersburg, MD, 20899, USA

We discuss the formation of polycrystalline microstructures within the framework of phase field theory. First, the model is tested for crystal nucleation in a hard sphere system. It is shown that, when evaluating the model parameters from molecular dynamics simulations, the phase field theory predicts the nucleation barrier for hard spheres accurately. The formation of spherulites is described by an extension of the model that incorporates branching with a definite orientational mismatch. This effect is induced by a metastable minimum in the orientational free energy. Spherulites are an extreme example of polycrystalline growth, a phenomenon that results from the quenching of orientational defects (grain boundaries) into the solid as the ratio of the rotational to the translational diffusion coefficient is reduced, as is found at high undercoolings. It is demonstrated that a broad variety of spherulitic patterns can be recovered by changing only a few model parameters.

Topics: Polycrystalline solidification

Phase field theory of crystal nucleation and polyerystalline growth: A review

László Gránásy1,2, Tamás Pusztai1, T Börzsönyi, Gyula Tóth3,1, György Tegze1, James A. Warren4, Jack F. Douglas5

1Institute for Solid State Physics and Optics, Wigner Research Centre for Physics, P.O. Box 49, Budapest H-1525, Hungary
2BCAST, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 3PH, United Kingdom
3Institute of Physics and Technology, University of Bergen, Allégaten 55, N-5007 Bergen, Norway
4Metallurgy Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20899, USA
5Polymers Division, National Institute of Standards and Technology,Gaithersburg, MD, 20899, USA

We briefly review Our recent modeling of crystal nucleation and polycrystalline growth using a phase field theory. First, we consider the applicability of phase field theory for describing crystal nucleation in a model hard sphere Fluid. It is shown that the phase field theory accurately predicts the nucleation barrier height for this liquid when the model parameters are fixed by independent Molecular dynamics calculations. We then address various aspects of polycrystalline solidification and associated crystal pattern formation at relatively long timescales. This late stage growth regime, which is not accessible by Molecular dynamics, involves nucleation at the growth front to create new crystal grains in addition to the effects of primary nucleation. Finally, we consider the limit of extreme polycrystalline growth, where the disordering effect due to prolific grain formation leads to isotropic growth patterns at long times, i.e., spherulite formation. Our model of spherulite growth exhibits branching at fixed grain misorientations, induced by the inclusion of a metastable minimum in the orientational free energy. It is demonstrated that a broad variety of spherulitic patterns can be recovered by changing only a few model parameters.

Topics: Polycrystalline solidification