Non-equilibrium interface and surface dynamics

FALL 2010
Department of Mathematics
Department of Physics
Institute for Physical Science and Technology (IPST)
Center for Scientific Computation and Mathematical Modeling
University of Maryland, College Park

LECTURES: Wednesdays, 4:30pm-5:30pm (unless noted otherwise);
Room: MATH 1308

Organizers: Theodore L. Einstein (,
Dionisios Margetis (

Scope & Research Focus: The complex properties of material surfaces and interfaces
have been the subject of theoretical and experimental scrutiny for many years.
Surfaces mediate mass and charge transport mechanisms in various
applications ranging from the design and fabrication of nanoscale optoelectronic devices
to the pressing issues of energy conversion and storage.
Despite this rapid experimental progress, our understanding of surface and interface
motion is far from complete. A crucial question concerns the improvement of
modeling, analysis and simulation in order to describe far-from-equilibrium
phenomena such as growth and nucleation.
This RIT focuses on recent progress and emerging problems in the modeling and analysis
of surface phenomena across length and time scales.
Mathematical, physical and chemical aspects will be discussed.
Particular emphasis will be placed on tools of kinetic theory that permeate interface evolution and fluctuation.

TOPICS: The (tentative) topics to be addressed are expected to fall into three general categories:

A. PDE modeling, analysis and simulation:
Prediction of surface morphology from given initial or final data ("inverse engineering");
averaging (homogenization) of composite or decorated surfaces;
free-boundary problems with microstructure.

B. Stochastic aspects of interface motion:
Random data, notions of noise and related descriptions; kinetic theory of surfaces;
`mean-field' approximations; analogies with other physical systems (e.g., non-uniform liquids);
germane problems of long-range interactions between line defects (steps)

C. Other emerging issues: Linkages of atomistic motion (lattice gas
and Solid-On-Solid models) to descriptions at larger scales (step flow models, full continuum);
coupling of morphology with electronic transport; energy storage

CREDIT: Students can take 1-3 units of credit by attending this RIT, and
studying and presenting a paper on an acceptable topic agreed on with one of the organizers,
or discussing original research.
For details, contact one of the Organizers (above).

Schedule for Fall 2010:
(talk titles will be posted on a week-by-week basis)

  • September 15, 4:30-5:30pm
    Organizational meeting -- Introduction of topics
    by Ted Einstein and Dio Margetis

  • September 22, 4:30-5:30pm
    NO RIT

  • September 29, 4:30-5:30pm
    Rayleigh instabilities and coarsening of nanoporous metals: A Kinetic Monte Carlo study
    Jonah Erlebacher, Materials Science & Eng., Johns Hopkins University

  • October 6, 4:30-5:30pm
    Size distributions related to islands in submonolayer epitaxial growth
    Diego Luis Gonzalez Cabrera, Physics, UMD

  • October 13, 4:45-5:30pm
    On force dipole interactions of line defects in 2-dimensional homoepitaxy
    Dio Margetis, Math & IPST & CSCAMM, UMD

  • October 20, 4:45-5:30pm
    NO RIT

  • October 27
    CSCAMM Workshop -- NO RIT

  • November 3, 4:30-5:30pm
    On Stiff Knots
    Olivier Pierre-Louis, CNRS, LPMCN, Lyon, France

  • November 10, 4:30-5:30pm
    A Nonlinear Stochastic Model of Step Interactions in 1-D
    Paul N. Patrone, Physics, UMD

  • November 17, 4:30-5:30pm
    Impurity induced step dynamics in vapor and solution growth
    John D. Weeks, Chemistry & IPST, UMD

  • November 24, 4:30-5:30pm

  • December 1, 4:30-5:30pm
    How do you write boundary conditions at crystal facets?
    Kanna Nakamura, Mathematics, UMD

  • December 8, 4:30-5:30pm