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Slow coarsening of ultra-confined phase-separated glass thin films

Abstract : Diffusion-driven coarsening of droplets is a classical subject in statistical physics, yet coarsening kinetics in confined systems have received little attention. We report here on the coarsening of droplets in thin (50-200 nm) films of phaseseparated barium borosilicate glasses. In this ultra-confined geometry where at most one droplet is observed within the film thickness, droplets grow like a power-law of time, with an exponent about 0.17 significantly smaller than the one of Ostwald ripening (1/3), characteristic of bulk coarsening. We complement these experimental results with twodimensional Cahn-Hilliard numerical simulations of diffusion, where a wider range of parameters can be varied. In simulations in the ultra-confined geometry, we recover a slow coarsening behavior. We explain the anomalous scaling exponent of simulations by the ultraconfined geometry, which imposes a different scaling with time of the radius of a droplet and the distance between droplets. In the experimental system, diffusive transport also becomes less efficient with time compared to the bulk case, with an additional change of geometry compared to simulations. A flattening of droplets with time is indeed observed, which we attribute to strong variations of the diffusion coefficient with the local matrix composition. We finally propose a simple model assuming a spatial localization of the diffusion paths to account for this effect.
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Contributor : Pierre Jop Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Thursday, February 17, 2022 - 3:32:46 PM
Last modification on : Friday, August 5, 2022 - 11:54:23 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, May 18, 2022 - 7:09:05 PM


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B. Bouteille, J. T Fonné, E. Burov, E. Gouillart, H. Henry, et al.. Slow coarsening of ultra-confined phase-separated glass thin films. Applied Physics Letters, American Institute of Physics, 2022, 120 (5), pp.051602. ⟨10.1063/5.0079056⟩. ⟨hal-03578821⟩



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