Feedback control of surface roughness in a one-dimensional KPZ growth process
Täuber, Uwe C.
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Control of generically scale-invariant systems, i.e., targeting specific cooperative features in non-linear stochastic interacting systems with many degrees of freedom subject to strong fluctuations and correlations that are characterized by power laws, remains an important open problem. We study the control of surface roughness during a growth process described by the Kardar--Parisi--Zhang (KPZ) equation in $(1+1)$ dimensions. We achieve the saturation of the mean surface roughness to a prescribed value using non-linear feedback control. Numerical integration is performed by means of the pseudospectral method, and the results are used to investigate the coupling effects of controlled (linear) and uncontrolled (non-linear) KPZ dynamics during the control process. While the intermediate time kinetics is governed by KPZ scaling, at later times a linear regime prevails, namely the relaxation towards the desired surface roughness. The temporal crossover region between these two distinct regimes displays intriguing scaling behavior that is characterized by non-trivial exponents and involves the number of controlled Fourier modes. Due to the control, the height probability distribution becomes negatively skewed, which affects the value of the saturation width.