A convergent SAV scheme for Cahn–Hilliard equations with dynamic boundary conditions

Metzger S (2023)

Publication Type: Journal article

Publication year: 2023


DOI: 10.1093/imanum/drac078


The Cahn–Hilliard equation is one of the most common models to describe phase separation processes in mixtures of two materials. For a better description of short-range interactions between the material and the boundary, various dynamic boundary conditions for this equation have been proposed. Recently, a family of models using Cahn–Hilliard-type equations on the boundary of the domain to describe adsorption processes was analysed (cf. Knopf, P., Lam, K. F., Liu, C. & Metzger, S. (2021) Phase-field dynamics with transfer of materials: the Cahn–Hilliard equation with reaction rate dependent dynamic boundary conditions. ESAIM: Math. Model. Numer. Anal., 55, 229–282). This family of models includes the case of instantaneous adsorption processes studied by Goldstein, Miranville and Schimperna (2011, A Cahn–Hilliard model in a domain with non-permeable walls. Phys. D, 240, 754–766) as well as the case of vanishing adsorption rates, which was investigated by Liu and Wu (2019, An energetic variational approach for the Cahn–Hilliard equation with dynamic boundary condition: model derivation and mathematical analysis. Arch. Ration. Mech. Anal., 233, 167–247). In this paper, we are interested in the numerical treatment of these models and propose an unconditionally stable, linear, fully discrete finite element scheme based on the scalar auxiliary variable approach. Furthermore, we establish the convergence of discrete solutions towards suitable weak solutions of the original model. Thereby, when passing to the limit, we are able to remove the auxiliary variables introduced in the discrete setting completely. Finally, we present simulations based on the proposed linear scheme and compare them to results obtained using a stable, nonlinear scheme to underline the practicality of our scheme.

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How to cite


Metzger, S. (2023). A convergent SAV scheme for Cahn–Hilliard equations with dynamic boundary conditions. IMA Journal of Numerical Analysis. https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/imanum/drac078


Metzger, Stefan. "A convergent SAV scheme for Cahn–Hilliard equations with dynamic boundary conditions." IMA Journal of Numerical Analysis (2023).

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