Welcome to the McGill Physics Computational Materials Science Group Web Page

Nikolas Provatas
Professor, Canada Research Chair
Department of Physics Rutherford Building,
McGill University, 3600 rue University,
Montreal, Québec H3A 2T8, Canada
Tel: (514) 398-4479

Scientific Director, McGill High Performance Computing Centre,
École de Technologie Supérieure (ETS),
1100 Rue Notre Dame Ouest,
Montreal, Quebec H3C-1K3
Tel: 514 396-8988

Research interests:
My research is at the interface of condensed matter physics and materials science. It combines high-performance computing with models derived from non-equilibrium thermodynamics, statistical mechanics and experiments to understand the fundamental origins of microstructure length scale selection in materials processes. These include systems undergoing crystallization from a melt or amorphous phases, particle precipitation, second phase formation, grain growth kinetics and reaction-diffusion processes in heterogeneous materials. Most of these systems serve as paradigms for understanding microstructure evolution during material processing. I am interested in porting over ideas and knowledge from microscopic scales to the scales on which material properties are typically realized in practical applications. This connection of length scales can be achieved by course-graining microscopic theories to yield meso-scale continuum and sharp-interface models. Models thus developed can find use in materials engineering applications. Most of the phenomena I study relevance to industrial materials processing, and some of my research is sponsored by industry.

Research Group:

  • Matthew Seymour (PhD): Phase Field Crystal (PFC) modelling of magneto-crystalline interactions in solids and extending the PFC approach for modelling non-metallic solids
  • Bernadine Jugdutt(MSc) (completed, 2014): Modeling of the effect of impurities on solid-liquid surface energy anisotropy using a complex amplitude models derived from a new structural phase field crystal (XPFC) model for alloys
  • Hossein Azizi (PhD): Modelling spatio-temporal oscillations of combustion fronts in the discrete reactant limit
  • Gabriel Kocher(PhD): Advancing the thermodynamcis of phase field crystal-type models for the study of solid-liquid-vapour systems and amorphous crystallization.
  • Raj Shampur(MSc): Phase field simulations of late stage solidificaiton, segregation and second phase distribution in complex multi-component alloys
  • Nathan Smith (PhD): Wavelet methods aplied for efficiet, large scale simulations of phase field crystal models of multi-component alloys
  • Nana Ofori-Opoku (PDF) (Completed 2014): Phase field modeling of solidification microstructure and deriving complex amplitide models from structural phase field crystal models.
  • Sebastian Gurevich (RA): Phase field modeling microstructure evolution in microelectronic interconnect alloys, and in liquid crystal systems (partnering with IBM)
  • Kate Elder (Physics Undergraduate): Modelling the graphene structre and growth using a new structural PFC-type model
  • Microstructure Simulation Movies of the Provatas Research Group:

    Phase Field Summer Schools and Conferneces at McGill:

  • 2015 Phase Field Summer School, McGill, July 13-17, 2015: Syllabus and Registration form. Summer School participants can download Reading materials for the the upcoming 2015 summer school.
  • 2013: Canadian Materials Science Conference (CMSC 25) Website
  • 2012 Phase Field Summer School: reading materials
  • About the McGill University HPC Centre:
    Visit the new website of McGill HPC , McGill's new Supercomputing Centre, member of Compute Canada and the Calcul Quebec Networks. For more info on about McGil HPC or help with HPC in your research, write me or visit our cool site at École de Technologie Supérieure (ETS) on the corner of Notre Dame and Peel, 4th floor. Fairly soon there will be a campus drop in centre too.

    Select Papers

  • Nana Ofori-Opoku, Vahid Fallah, Michael Greenwood, Shahrzad Esmaeili and Nikolas Provatas Multicomponent phase field crystal model for structural transformtion in metal alloys.
  • Physical Review B87, 134105 (2013).
  • Vahid Fallah, Ofori-Opoku, Jonathan Stolle, Nikolas Provatas and Shahrzad Esmaeili Simulation of early-stage clustering in ternary metal alloys using the phase-field crystal method
  • Physical Review B87, 134105 (2013).
  • Joel Berry, Nikolas Provatas, Joerg Rottler and Chad W. Sinclair Defect Stability in phase field crydtal models: Stacking faults and partial dislocations. Physical Review B86, 224112 (2012). *(Editor's suggestion).
  • Morteza Amoorezaei, Sebastian Gurevich and Nikolas Provatas Orientation selection in solidification patterning. Acta Materialia 60, 657 (2012).
  • Michael Greenwood, Nana Ofori-Opoku, Joerg Rottler and Nikolas Provatas Modeling structural transformations in binary alloys with phase fied crystals. Physical Review Rev. B 84, 064104 (2011).
  • Michael Greenwood, Nikolas Provatas and Joerg Rottler Free Energy Functionals for Efficient Phase Field Crystal Modeling of Structural Phase Transformations. Physical Review Letters 105, 045702 (2010).
  • Nikolas Provatas and Sami Majaniemi Phase-field-crystal calculation of crystal-melt surface tension in binary alloys. Physical Review E 82,041601 (2010).
  • Morteza Amoorezaei, Sebastian Gurevich and Nikolas Provatas Spacing characterization in Al-Cu alloys directionally solidified under transient growth conditions Acta Materialia 58, 6115 (2010).
  • K.R. Elder, Zhi-Feng Huang add Nikolas Provatas Amplitude expansion of binary phase-field crystal model Physical Review E81, 011602 (2010).
  • Nana Ofori-Opoku and Nikolas Provatas A quantitative multi-phase field model of polycrystalline solidification Acta Materialia 58, 2155(2010).
  • Sami Majaniemi and Nikolas Provatas Deriving surface-energy anisotropy for phenomenological phase-field models of solidification Physical Review E 79, 011607 (2009).
  • B.P Athreya, N. Goldenfeld, J. Dantzig, M. Greenwood and N. Provatas Adaptive mesh computation of polycrystalline pattern formation using renormalization group reduction of the phase field crystal model Physical Review E76, 056706 (2007).
  • Peter Stefanovic, Mikko Haataja and N. Provatas Phase-Field Crystals with Elastic Interactioms Physical Review Letters 96, 225504 (2006).
  • Michael Greenwood, Mikko Haataja and N. Provatas Crossover Scaling of Wavelength Selection in Directional Solidification of Binary Alloys Physical Review Letters 93, 246101 (2004).