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Statistical theory of nucleation in the presence of uncharacterised impurities

Sear, RP (2004) Statistical theory of nucleation in the presence of uncharacterised impurities Physical Review E, 70 (2).

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First order phase transitions proceed via nucleation. The rate of nucleation varies exponentially with the free-energy barrier to nucleation, and so is highly sensitive to variations in this barrier. In practice, very few systems are absolutely pure, there are typically some impurities present which are rather poorly characterised. These interact with the nucleus, causing the barrier to vary, and so must be taken into account. Here the impurity-nucleus interactions are modelled by random variables. The rate then has the same form as the partition function of Derrida's Random Energy Model, and as in this model there is a regime in which the behaviour is non-self-averaging. Non-self-averaging nucleation is nucleation with a rate that varies significantly from one realisation of the random variables to another. In experiment this corresponds to variation in the nucleation rate from one sample to another. General analytic expressions are obtained for the crossover from a self-averaging to a non-self-averaging rate of nucleation.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Physics
Authors : Sear, RP
Date : 1 June 2004
DOI : 10.1103/PhysRevE.70.021605
Related URLs :
Additional Information : Copyright 2004 The American Physical Society.
Depositing User : Mr Adam Field
Date Deposited : 31 Aug 2012 09:36
Last Modified : 06 Jul 2019 05:10

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