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  1. Abstract We develop a thin-film microstructural model that represents structural markers (i.e., triple junctions in the two-dimensional projections of the structure of films with columnar grains) in terms of a stochastic, marked point process and the microstructure itself in terms of a grain-boundary network. The advantage of this representation is that it is conveniently applicable to the characterization of microstructures obtained from crystal orientation mapping, leading to a picture of an ensemble of interacting triple junctions, while providing results that inform grain-growth models with experimental data. More specifically, calculated quantities such as pair, partial pair and mark correlation functions, along with the microstructural mutual information (entropy), highlight effective triple junction interactions that dictate microstructural evolution. To validate this approach, we characterize microstructures from Al thin films via crystal orientation mapping and formulate an approach, akin to classical density functional theory, to describe grain growth that embodies triple-junction interactions. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  2. In this paper, we summarize some recent advances related to the energetic variational approach (EnVarA), a general variational framework of building thermodynamically consistent models for complex fluids, by some examples. Particular focus will be placed on how to model systems involving chemo-mechanical couplings and non-isothermal effects. 
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