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Title: Properties of liquid clusters in large-scale molecular dynamics nucleation simulations

We have performed large-scale Lennard-Jones molecular dynamics simulations of homogeneous vapor-to-liquid nucleation, with 10{sup 9} atoms. This large number allows us to resolve extremely low nucleation rates, and also provides excellent statistics for cluster properties over a wide range of cluster sizes. The nucleation rates, cluster growth rates, and size distributions are presented in Diemand et al. [J. Chem. Phys. 139, 74309 (2013)], while this paper analyses the properties of the clusters. We explore the cluster temperatures, density profiles, potential energies, and shapes. A thorough understanding of the properties of the clusters is crucial to the formulation of nucleation models. Significant latent heat is retained by stable clusters, by as much as ΔkT = 0.1ε for clusters with size i = 100. We find that the clusters deviate remarkably from spherical—with ellipsoidal axis ratios for critical cluster sizes typically within b/c = 0.7 ± 0.05 and a/c = 0.5 ± 0.05. We examine cluster spin angular momentum, and find that it plays a negligible role in the cluster dynamics. The interfaces of large, stable clusters are thinner than planar equilibrium interfaces by 10%−30%. At the critical cluster size, the cluster central densities are between 5% and 30% lower than themore » bulk liquid expectations. These lower densities imply larger-than-expected surface areas, which increase the energy cost to form a surface, which lowers nucleation rates.« less
Authors:
;  [1] ; ;  [2]
  1. Institute for Theoretical Physics, University of Zurich, 8057 Zurich (Switzerland)
  2. Institute of Low Temperature Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-0819 (Japan)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22255095
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Chemical Physics; Journal Volume: 140; Journal Issue: 7; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; DENSITY; ENERGY ACCOUNTING; INTERFACES; LIQUIDS; MOLECULAR DYNAMICS METHOD; NUCLEATION; POTENTIAL ENERGY; SIMULATION; SPIN; VAPORS