Chapter 6. Spinodal Decomposition

  1. Prof. Gernot Kostorz
  1. Prof. Kurt Binder1 and
  2. Prof. Peter Fratzl2

Published Online: 28 JAN 2005

DOI: 10.1002/352760264X.ch6

Phase Transformations in Materials

Phase Transformations in Materials

How to Cite

Binder, K. and Fratzl, P. (2001) Spinodal Decomposition, in Phase Transformations in Materials (ed G. Kostorz), Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim, FRG. doi: 10.1002/352760264X.ch6

Editor Information

  1. ETH Zürich, Institut fü Angewandte Physik, CH-8093 Zürich, Switzerland

Author Information

  1. 1

    Universität Mainz, Institut für Physik, Staudinger Weg 7, D-55099 Mainz, Germany

  2. 2

    Institut für Metallphysik, Montan-Universität Leoben, Jahnstraße 12, A-8700 Leoben, Austria

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 28 JAN 2005
  2. Published Print: 10 AUG 2001

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9783527302567

Online ISBN: 9783527602643



  • spinodal decomposition;
  • binary mixtures;
  • phase separation kinetics;
  • Cahn–Hilliard–Cook nonlinear diffusion equation;
  • spinodal curve;
  • quench rate;
  • percolation transition;
  • coarsening;
  • alloys;
  • glasses;
  • ceramics;
  • fluid mixtures;
  • polymer mixtures;
  • tricritical point;
  • spontaneous growth;
  • surfaces;
  • quenched impurities;
  • electrical resistivity of metallic alloys


  • List of Symbols and Abbreviations

  • Introduction

  • General Concepts

    • Phenomenological Thermodynamics of Binary Mixtures and the Basic Ideas of Phase Separation Kinetics

    • The Cahn–Hilliard–Cook Nonlinear Diffusion Equation

    • Linearized Theory of Spinodal Decomposition

    • Spinodal Decomposition of Polymer Mixtures

    • Significance of the Spinodal Curve

    • Towards a Nonlinear Theory of Spinodal Decomposition in Solids and Fluids

    • Effects of Finite Quench Rate

    • Interconnected Precipitated Structure Versus Isolated Droplets, and the Percolation Transition

    • Coarsening and Late Stage Scaling

    • Effects of Coherent Elastic Misfit

  • Survey of Experimental Results

    • Metallic Alloys

    • Glasses, Ceramics, and Other Solid Materials

    • Fluid Mixtures

    • Polymer Mixtures

  • Extensions

    • Systems Near a Tricritical Point

    • Spontaneous Growth of Ordered Domains out of Initially Disordered Configurations

    • Phase Separation in Reduced Geometry and near Surfaces

    • Effects of Quenched Impurities; Vacancies; Electrical Resistivity of Metallic Alloys Undergoing Phase Changes

    • Further Related Phenomena

  • Discussion

  • Acknowledgements

  • References