We construct unconditionally stable, unconditionally uniquely solvable, and second order accurate (in time) schemes for gradient flows with energy of the form {equation presented} dx. the construction of the schemes involves the appropriate combination and extension of two classical ideas: (i) appropriate convex-concave decomposition of the energy functional and (ii) the secant method. as an application, we derive schemes for epitaxial growth models with slope selection (F(y) = 1/4 (|y| 2 - 1) 2) or without slope selection (F(y) = -1/2 ln(1 + |y| 2)). Two types of unconditionally stable uniquely solvable second-order schemes are presented. the first type inherits the variational structure of the original continuous-in-time gradient flow, while the second type does not preserve the variational structure. We present numerical simulations for the case with slope selection which verify well-known physical scaling laws for the long time coarsening process. © 2012 Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.


Mathematics and Statistics

Keywords and Phrases

Convex-Concave Decomposition; Ehrlich-Schwoebel Type Energy; Epitaxial Growth; Second Order Scheme; Unconditional Stability

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

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Final Version

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Publication Date

28 May 2012