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The Effect of Oscillatory Shear Flow on Step Bunching



B T. Murray, Sam R. Coriell, A A. Chernov, Geoffrey B. McFadden


During crystal growth, an imposed shear flow at the crystal-fluid interface can impact the conditions for the onset of morphological instability. In previous work, we studied the effect of time-independent shear flows and anisotropic interface kinetics on the morphological stability of a crystal growing from supersaturated solution. The models assume that growth is by the motion of elementary steps, which is treated by a macroscopic anisotropic kinetic law; morphological instability corresponds to the bunching of elementary steps. Predictions from linear stability theory indicate that a solution flowing above a vicinal face of a crystal can either enhance or prevent the development of step bunches, depending on the direction of the steady shear flow in relation to the direction of step motion, which is also observed in experiments. Here we extend the linear stability analysis to include the effect of an oscillatory shear flow on the morphological stability of a crystal growing from solution and present results for a model inorganic system for a range of oscillatory shear rate amplitudes and frequencies both with and without a steady shear component. In the presence of a steady shear flow, modulation can either stabilize or destabilize the system, depending on the modulation amplitude and frequency. Optimal values of modulation frequency and amplitude are found when the steady flow is destabilizing.
Journal of Crystal Growth
No. 2-4


anisotropic kinetics, floquet theory, morphological stability, shear flow, step motion


Murray, B. , Coriell, S. , Chernov, A. and McFadden, G. (2000), The Effect of Oscillatory Shear Flow on Step Bunching, Journal of Crystal Growth (Accessed June 24, 2024)


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Created August 31, 2000, Updated October 12, 2021