Pinch-off of rods by bulk diffusion

L.K. Aagesen, A.E. Johnson, J.L. Fife, P.W. Voorhees, M.J. Miksis, Stefan Othmar Poulsen, Erik Mejdal Lauridsen, F. Marone, M. Stampanoni

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    The morphology of a rod embedded in a matrix undergoing pinching by interfacial-energy-driven bulk diffusion is determined near the point of pinching. We find a self-similar solution that gives a unique temporal power law and interfacial shape prior to pinching and self-similar solutions after pinching. The theory is compared to experiments that employ in situ four-dimensional X-ray tomographic microscopy for rods of liquid or solid pinching by solute diffusion in the high-diffusivity liquid phase. The excellent agreement between experiment and theory confirms that the interfacial morphology near the singularity is universal both before and after pinching; the shape holds regardless of the material system and initial condition. This also implies that the predictions of the time-dependence of the process can be used to determine the time to pinching for a wide variety of physical systems, and thus provide estimates of the time required for capillarity-driven break-up of microstructures from the detachment of secondary dendrite arms to polymer blends.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalActa Materialia
    Issue number12
    Pages (from-to)4922-4932
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • Materials characterisation and modelling

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