Anisotropic interfacial tension, contact angles, and line tensions: A graphics-processing-unit-based Monte Carlo study of the Ising model

Benjamin J. Block, Suam Kim, Peter Virnau, Kurt Binder
Institut fur Physik, Johannes Gutenberg-Universitat Mainz, Staudinger Weg 9, D-55099 Mainz, Germany
arXiv:1411.5588 [physics.comp-ph], (20 Nov 2014)



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As a generic example for crystals where the crystal-fluid interface tension depends on the orientation of the interface relative to the crystal lattice axes, the nearest neighbor Ising model on the simple cubic lattice is studied over a wide temperature range, both above and below the roughening transition temperature. Using a thin film geometry $L_x times L_y times L_z$ with periodic boundary conditions along the z-axis and two free $L_x times L_y$ surfaces at which opposing surface fields $pm H_{1}$ act, under conditions of partial wetting, a single planar interface inclined under a contact angle $theta < pi/2$ relative to the yz-plane is stabilized. In the y-direction, a generalization of the antiperiodic boundary condition is used that maintains the translational invariance in y-direction despite the inhomogeneity of the magnetization distribution in this system. This geometry allows a simultaneous study of the angle-dependent interface tension, the contact angle, and the line tension (which depends on the contact angle, and on temperature). All these quantities are extracted from suitable thermodynamic integration procedures. In order to keep finite size effects as well as statistical errors small enough, rather large lattice sizes (of the order of 46 million sites) are found necessary, availability of very efficient code implementation of graphics processing units (GPUs) was crucial for the feasibility of this study.
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