WIAS Preprint No. 2370, (2017)

Optimal boundary control of a nonstandard Cahn--Hilliard system with dynamic boundary condition and double obstacle inclusions


  • Colli, Pierluigi
    ORCID: 0000-0002-7921-5041
  • Sprekels, Jürgen
    ORCID: 0009-0000-0618-8604

2010 Mathematics Subject Classification

  • 74M15 49J20 49J50 35K61


  • Optimal control, parabolic obstacle problems, MPECs, dynamic boundary conditions, optimality conditions




In this paper, we study an optimal boundary control problem for a model for phase separation taking place in a spatial domain that was introduced by P.Podio-Guidugli in Ric. Mat. 55 (2006), pp.105-118. The model consists of a strongly coupled system of nonlinear parabolic differential inclusions, in which products between the unknown functions and their time derivatives occur that are difficult to handle analytically; the system is complemented by initial and boundary conditions. For the order parameter of the phase separation process, a dynamic boundary condition involving the Laplace-Beltrami operator is assumed, which models an additional nonconserving phase transition occurring on the surface of the domain. We complement in this paper results that were established in the recent contribution appeared in Evol. Equ. Control Theory 6 (2017), pp. 35-58, by the two authors and Gianni Gilardi. In contrast to that paper, in which differentiable potentials of logarithmic type were considered, we investigate here the (more difficult) case of nondifferentiable potentials of double obstacle type. For such nonlinearities, the standard techniques of optimal control theory to establish the existence of Lagrange multipliers for the state constraints are known to fail. To overcome these difficulties, we employ the following line of approach: we use the results contained in the preprint arXiv:1609.07046 [math.AP] (2016), pp. 1-30, for the case of (differentiable) logarithmic potentials and perform a so-called "deep quench limit". Using compactness and monotonicity arguments, it is shown that this strategy leads to the desired first-order necessary optimality conditions for the case of (nondifferentiable) double obstacle potentials.

Appeared in

  • Solvability, Regularity, and Optimal Control of Boundary Value Problems for PDEs: In Honour of Prof. Gianni Gilardi, P. Colli, A. Favini, E. Rocca, G. Schimperna, J. Sprekels, eds., vol. 22 of Springer INdAM Series, Springer International Publishing, 2017, pp. 151--182, DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-64489-9 .

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