*Published Paper*

**Inserted:** 4 apr 2018

**Journal:** SIAM J. Math. Anal.

**Volume:** 47

**Number:** 4

**Pages:** 2699–2721

**Year:** 2015

**Links:**
Journal Page

**Abstract:**

We study a shape optimization problem for the first eigenvalue of an elliptic operator in divergence form, with nonconstant coefficients, over a fixed domain $\Omega$. Dirichlet conditions are imposed along $\partial \Omega$ and, additionally, along a set $\Sigma$ of prescribed length (one-dimensional Hausdorff measure). We look for the best shape and position for the supplementary Dirichlet region $\Sigma$ in order to maximize the first eigenvalue. The limit distribution of the optimal sets, as their prescribed length tends to infinity, is characterized via $\Gamma$-convergence of suitable functionals defined over varifolds; the use of varifolds, as opposed to probability measures, allows one to keep track of the local orientation of the optimal sets (which comply with the anisotropy of the problem), and not just of their limit distribution.