WIAS Preprint No. 2428, (2017)

Optimal velocity control of a convective Cahn--Hilliard system with double obstacles and dynamic boundary conditions: A `deep quench' approach


  • Colli, Pierluigi
    ORCID: 0000-0002-7921-5041
  • Gilardi, Gianni
    ORCID: 0000-0002-0651-4307
  • Sprekels, Jürgen
    ORCID: juergen.sprekels@wias-berlin.de

2010 Mathematics Subject Classification

  • 49J20 49K20 74M15 35K86 76R05 82C26 80A22


  • Cahn-Hilliard system, convection term, dynamic boundary conditions, double obstacle potentials, optimal velocity control, optimality conditions




In this paper, we investigate a distributed optimal control problem for a convective viscous Cahn-Hilliard system with dynamic boundary conditions. Such systems govern phase separation processes between two phases taking place in an incompressible fluid in a container and, at the same time, on the container boundary. The cost functional is of standard tracking type, while the control is exerted by the velocity of the fluid in the bulk. In this way, the coupling between the state (given by the associated order parameter and chemical potential) and control variables in the governing system of nonlinear partial differential equations is bilinear, which presents a difficulty for the analysis. In contrast to the previous paper Optimal velocity control of a viscous Cahn-Hilliard system with convection and dynamic boundary conditions by the same authors, the bulk and surface free energies are of double obstacle type, which renders the state constraint nondifferentiable. It is well known that for such cases standard constraint qualifications are not satisfied so that standard methods do not apply to yield the existence of Lagrange multipliers. In this paper, we overcome this difficulty by taking advantage of results established in the quoted paper for logarithmic nonlinearities, using a so-called `deep quench approximation'. We derive results concerning the existence of optimal controls and the first-order necessary optimality conditions in terms of a variational inequality and the associated adjoint system.

Appeared in

  • J. Convex Anal., 26 (2019), pp. 485--514 .

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