Journal of Statistical Physics

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 231–252

The theory of Ostwald ripening

  • P. W. Voorhees

DOI: 10.1007/BF01017860

Cite this article as:
Voorhees, P.W. J Stat Phys (1985) 38: 231. doi:10.1007/BF01017860


Developments in the theory of Ostwald ripening since the classic work of I. M. Lifshitz and V. V. Slyozov (LS) are reviewed and directions for future work are suggested. Recent theoretical work on the role of a finite volume fraction of coarsening phase on the ripening behavior of two-phase systems is reformulated in terms of a consistent set of notation through which each of the theories can be compared and contrasted. Although more theoretical work is necessary, these theories are in general agreement on the effects of a finite volume fraction of coarsening phase on the coarsening behavior of two-phase systems. New work on transient Ostwald ripening is presented which illustrates the broad range of behavior which is possible in this regime. The conditions responsible for the presence of the asymptotic state first discovered by LS, as well as the manner in which this state is approached, are also discussed. The role of elastic fields during Ostwald ripening in solid-solid mixtures is reviewed, and it is shown that these fields can play a dominant role in determining the coarsening behavior of a solid-solid system.

Key words

Ostwald ripening phase transformations competitive growth diffusion 

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. W. Voorhees
    • 1
  1. 1.Metallurgy DivisionNational Bureau of StandardsGaithersburg

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