, Volume 100, Issue 4, pp 639-662
Date: 17 May 2005

Numerical approximation of the Cahn-Larché equation

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Spinodal decomposition, i.e., the separation of a homogeneous mixture into different phases, can be modeled by the Cahn-Hilliard equation - a fourth order semilinear parabolic equation. If elastic stresses due to a lattice misfit become important, the Cahn-Hilliard equation has to be coupled to an elasticity system to take this into account. Here, we present a discretization based on finite elements and an implicit Euler scheme. We first show solvability and uniqueness of solutions. Based on an energy decay property we then prove convergence of the scheme. Finally we present numerical experiments showing the impact of elasticity on the morphology of the microstructure.