Surface-directed spinodal decomposition on patterned substrate
Spinodal decomposition is a kinetic process of phase segregation ubiquitous in nature and has been researched intensively for solids, fluids, and other soft materials. Adding inhomogeneity to the isotropic system in the form of very physical and needed boundaries produces a convoluted process, posing a significant challenge in understanding it. A simple wall, preferring a single component from the fluid, results in surface-directed spinodal decomposition, where the fluid below its co-existence conditions phase-separates spontaneously and wets the wall with the preferred one. This field has been the subject of my research, and I derived the growth laws associated with the coarsening and growth of structures (wetting layer, etc) formed in such systems. In this lightning talk, I will present a more complex case study of substrates with chemical and morphological patterns relevant to tailoring microstructures useful in thin-film fabrications and understanding the theoretical concepts of scaling laws in statistical mechanics. These studies are done using LAMMPS and will be helpful to the audience.