Inserted: 20 dec 2022
Last Updated: 20 dec 2022
We prove the first regularity theorem for the free boundary of solutions to shape optimization problems involving integral functionals, for which the energy of a domain $\Omega$ is obtained as the integral of a cost function $j(u,x)$ depending on the solution $u$ of a certain PDE problem on $\Omega$. The main feature of these functionals is that the minimality of a domain $\Omega$ cannot be translated into a variational problem for a single (real or vector valued) state function.
In this paper we focus on the case of affine cost functions $j(u,x)=-g(x)u+Q(x)$, where $u$ is the solution of the PDE $-\Delta u=f$ with Dirichlet boundary conditions. We obtain the Lipschitz continuity and the non-degeneracy of the optimal $u$ from the inwards-outwards optimality of $\Omega$ and then we use the stability of $\Omega$ with respect to variations with smooth vector fields in order to study the blow-up limits of the state function $u$. By performing a triple consecutive blow-up, we prove the existence of blow-up sequences converging to homogeneous stable solution of the one-phase Bernoulli problem and according to the blow-up limits, we decompose $\partial\Omega$ into a singular and a regular part. In order to estimate the Hausdorff dimension of the singular set of $\partial\Omega$ we give a new formulation of the notion of stability for the one-phase problem, which is preserved under blow-up limits and allows to develop a dimension reduction principle. Finally, by combining a higher order Boundary Harnack principle and a viscosity approach, we prove $C^\infty$ regularity of the regular part of the free boundary when the data are smooth.