Keywords: solidification, dendritic growth, banded spherulites, phase-field models, morphology transitions, atomic force microscopy, AFM, viscous melts, undercooling, nanotechnology, soft condensed matter, nanostructures
Solidification of viscous melts: the interplay of nano- and macroscopic phenomena
As the undercooling of a liquid melt is increased, one observes several qualitatively different regimes of solidification, each dominated by a different set of physics. I discuss the different regimes, their phenomenology, their physics, and the transitions between them. The experimental focus is on soft-condensed-matter systems, whose widely variable time scales allow one to easily explore the different solidification regimes. One challenge is to relate the complicated nanostructures that are observed to the relatively simple overall macroscopic behaviour.