*Published Paper*

**Inserted:** 22 jan 2015

**Last Updated:** 6 jul 2017

**Journal:** Calculus of variation and PDE's

**Year:** 2015

**Abstract:**

In this paper we introduce a Cheeger-type constant defined as a minimization of a suitable functional among all the $N$-clusters contained in an open bounded set $\Omega$. Here with $N$-Cluster we mean a family of $N$ sets of finite perimeter, disjoint up to a set of null Lebesgue measure. We call any $N$-cluster attaining such a minimum a Cheeger $N$-cluster. Our purpose is to provide a non trivial lower bound on the optimal partition problem for the first Dirichlet eigenvalue of the Laplacian. Here we discuss the regularity of Cheeger $N$-clusters in a general ambient space dimension and we give a precise description of their structure in the the planar case. The last part is devoted to the relation between the functional introduced here (namely the $N$-Cheeger constant), the partition problem for the first Dirichlet eigenvalue of the Laplacian and the Caffarelli and Lin's conjecture.

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