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Surface tension of a Lennard-Jones liquid under supersaturation Songnian He and Phil Attard*

Summary: Surface tension of a Lennard-Jones liquid under supersaturation
Songnian He and Phil Attard*
School of Chemistry F11, The University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.
E-mail: attard@chem.usyd.edu.au
Received 19th May 2005, Accepted 16th June 2005
First published as an Advance Article on the web 4th July 2005
A formally exact Kirkwood­Buff virial formula for the surface tension of a supersaturated interface is derived. A
modified Gibbs ensemble method is given that allows the creation of interacting supersaturated phases of equal
chemical potential, and which enables the Kirkwood­Buff formula to be applied. The methods are tested by
Monte Carlo simulation of a supersaturated Lennard-Jones fluid with a planar liquid-vapor interface. The
Kirkwood­Buff results for the supersaturated surface tension are found to be in reasonable agreement with new
results obtained here using the recently developed, formally exact, ghost interface method, [M. P. Moody and
P. Attard, J. Chem. Phys., 2002, 117, 6705]. The surface tension is obtained as a function of supersaturation at
four temperatures, and it is found to decrease with increasing supersaturation, and to vanish at the vapor
spinodal. The relevance of the present results to the nucleation of droplets in a supersaturated vapor is discussed.
1. Introduction
The surface tension plays an important role in the nucleation of
liquid droplets from a supersaturated vapor phase. In order
to calculate the droplet nucleation rate, for example, the value
of the surface tension is needed under the conditions in


Source: Attard, Phil - School of Chemistry, University of Sydney


Collections: Chemistry