Journal of Statistical Physics

, Volume 138, Issue 1, pp 51–84

Phase Separation in Confined Geometries

  • Kurt Binder
  • Sanjay Puri
  • Subir K. Das
  • Jürgen Horbach

DOI: 10.1007/s10955-010-9924-9

Cite this article as:
Binder, K., Puri, S., Das, S.K. et al. J Stat Phys (2010) 138: 51. doi:10.1007/s10955-010-9924-9


The kinetics of phase separation or domain growth, subsequent to temperature quenches of binary mixtures from the one-phase region into the miscibility gap, still remains a challenging problem of nonequilibrium statistical mechanics. We have an incomplete understanding of many aspects of the growth of concentration inhomogeneities, including the effect of surfaces on this process, and the interplay with wetting phenomena and finite-size effects in thin films. In the present paper, an overview of the simulation approaches to this problem is given, with an emphasis on solutions of a diffusive Ginzburg-Landau model. We also discuss two recent alternative approaches: a local molecular field approximation to the Kawasaki spin exchange model on a lattice; and molecular dynamics simulations of a fluid binary Lennard-Jones mixture. A brief outlook to open questions is also given.


Domain growthGinzburg-Landau theoryMolecular dynamics simulationThin filmsSurface-directed spinodal decomposition

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kurt Binder
    • 1
  • Sanjay Puri
    • 2
  • Subir K. Das
    • 3
  • Jürgen Horbach
    • 4
  1. 1.Institut für PhysikJohannes Gutenberg—Universität MainzMainzGermany
  2. 2.School of Physical SciencesJawaharlal Nehru UniversityNew DelhiIndia
  3. 3.Theoretical Sciences UnitJawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific ResearchJakkurIndia
  4. 4.Institut für Materialphysik im WeltraumDeutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)KölnGermany