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A fast immersed interface method for the Cahn-Hilliard equation with arbitrary boundary conditions in complex domains

: Hofmann, T.; Müller, R.; Andrä, H.


Computational materials science 140 (2017), S.22-31
ISSN: 0927-0256
Fraunhofer ITWM ()
immersed interface method; Cahn-Hilliard equation; surface wetting; fourier integration

A fast immersed boundary method for the CahnHilliard equation is introduced. The decomposition of the fourth-order non-linear CahnHilliard equation into a system of linear parabolic second-order equations allows to pose arbitrary Neumann or surface wetting conditions on the boundary. In space a finite-volume discretization on a regular Cartesian voxel grid allows the use of fast parabolic solvers via Fourier transform of arbitrary convergence order. For the time discretization, a second-order RungeKutta scheme is applied. The polynomial approximation of the chemical potential results in a numerical scheme that is unconditionally gradient-stable and allows large time steps. With an additional pre-conditioner for the linear system, the condition of linear system is minimized. By this the convergence is independent of both spatial discretization and time step size. This allows for the simulation of phase separation in large porous complex domains with three dimensions and over hundred million degrees of freedom while applying arbitrary boundary conditions and using large time steps.