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Nucleation in the presence of slow microscopic dynamics

Sear, RP (2008) Nucleation in the presence of slow microscopic dynamics JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 128 (21). ? - ?. ISSN 0021-9606


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Nucleation of a new thermodynamic phase is often a slow process due to the need to overcome a high free-energy barrier. However, there are other sources of slow dynamics; for example, at high densities/low temperatures, the movement of individual molecules or spins may be slow. Here, we study nucleation in a simple phenomenological model that has this type of slow microscopic dynamics. We do this to better understand how the two sources of slow dynamics interact. We find that as nucleation is intrinsically slow, only very slow microscopic dynamics strongly affect how nucleation occurs. The composition of the nucleus at the top of the nucleation barrier is much less sensitive to slow microscopic dynamics than is the composition of the nucleus once it is postcritical. However, slow dynamics affects not only the rate but also the pathway, which no longer goes over the saddle point in the free energy. We also find that the slow microscopic dynamics can cause sampling problems in an algorithm developed to calculate nucleation rates, and so cause it to predict the rate incorrectly.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Science & Technology, Physical Sciences, Physics, Atomic, Molecular & Chemical, Physics, CRYSTAL NUCLEATION, MECHANISMS
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Divisions: Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Physics
Depositing User: Mr Adam Field
Date Deposited: 27 May 2010 14:08
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2013 18:27

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