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Published July 6, 1998 | public
Journal Article Open

Electrically Induced Morphological Instabilities in Free Dendrite Growth


We describe a new instability mechanism in free dendrite growth, which arises from electrically enhanced diffusion of polar molecules near the dendrite tip. For a small applied potential, the dendrite tip velocity increases slowly with potential, as is described by an extension of normal solvability theory. Above a threshold potential, however, capillarity is insufficient to stabilize growth. We present observations that confirm this instability, which brings about a transition from enhanced normal dendrite growth to a rapidly growing needle morphology with strongly suppressed sidebranching.

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©1998 The American Physical Society Received 2 March 1998 We acknowledge support for V.M.T. by Mr. and Mrs. Downie D. Muir III. See Also: Comment: Efim A. Brener and H. Müller-Krumbhaar, Comment on "Electrically Induced Morphological Instabilities in Free Dendrite Growth", Phys. Rev. Lett. 83, 1698 (1999) Reply: K. G. Libbrecht and V. M. Tanusheva, Libbrecht and Tanusheva Reply:, Phys. Rev. Lett. 83, 1699 (1999) Focus Story: Phys. Rev. Focus 2, story 1 http://focus.aps.org/story/v2/st1


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