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## Spinodal decomposition
## Additional recommended knowledge## Spinodal region of the phase diagramPhase separation occurs whenever a material transitions into the unstable region of the phase diagram. The boundary of the unstable region, sometimes referred to as the To reach the spinodal region of the phase diagram, a transition must take the material through the binodal region or the critical point. Often phase separation will occur via nucleation during this transition, and spinodal decomposition will not be observed. To observe spinodal decomposition, a very fast transition, often called a ## The dynamics of spinodal decompositionIn the spinodal region of the phase diagram, the free-energy can be lowered by allowing the components to separate, thus increasing the relative concentration of a component material in a particular region of the material. The concentration will continue to increase until the material reaches the stable part of the phase diagram. Very large regions of material will change their concentration slowly due to the amount of material which must be moved. Very small regions will shrink away due to the energy cost in maintaining an interface between two dissimilar component materials. To initiate a homogeneous quench a control parameter, such as temperature, is abruptly and globally changed. For a binary mixture of is a good approximation of the free-energy near the critical point and is often used to study homogeneous quenches. The mixture concentration φ = ρ Diffusive motion often dominates at the length-scale of spinodal decomposition. The equation of motion for a diffusive system is where We see that if which has an exponential growth solution: Since the growth rate will quickly dominate the morphology. We now see that spinodal decomposition results in domains of the characteristic length scale called the The growth rate of the fastest growing angular wave number is where The spinodal length and spinodal time can be used to nondimensionalize the equation of motion, resulting in universal scaling for spinodal decomposition. ## References**^**Jones, Richard A. L..*Soft Condensed Matter*. Oxford University Press, 33.__ISBN 0198505892__. Retrieved on 2007-10-22.
Categories: Condensed matter physics | Thermodynamics | Materials science |

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Spinodal_decomposition". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia. |