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Title: A nanoscale temperature-dependent heterogeneous nucleation theory

Classical nucleation theory relies on the hypothetical equilibrium of the whole nucleation system, and neglects the thermal fluctuations of the surface; this is because the high entropic gains of the (thermodynamically extensive) surface would lead to multiple stable states. In fact, at the nanometer scale, the entropic gains of the surface are high enough to destroy the stability of the thermal equilibrium during nucleation, comparing with the whole system. We developed a temperature-dependent nucleation theory to elucidate the heterogeneous nucleation process, by considering the thermal fluctuations based on classical nucleation theory. It was found that the temperature not only affected the phase transformation, but also influenced the surface energy of the nuclei. With changes in the Gibbs free energy barrier, nucleation behaviors, such as the nucleation rate and the critical radius of the nuclei, showed temperature-dependent characteristics that were different from those predicted by classical nucleation theory. The temperature-dependent surface energy density of a nucleus was deduced based on our theoretical model. The agreement between the theoretical and experimental results suggested that the developed nucleation theory has the potential to contribute to the understanding and design of heterogeneous nucleation at the nanoscale.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Nanosurface Science and Engineering Research Institute, College of Mechatronics and Control Engineering, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, 518060 Guangdong (China)
  2. State Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Materials and Technologies, Nanotechnology Research Center, School of Materials Science and Engineering, School of Physics and Engineering, Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, 510275 Guangdong (China)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22412923
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Applied Physics; Journal Volume: 117; Journal Issue: 22; Other Information: (c) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; 77 NANOSCIENCE AND NANOTECHNOLOGY; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; FLUCTUATIONS; FREE ENTHALPY; GAIN; NANOSTRUCTURES; NUCLEATION; PHASE STABILITY; PHASE TRANSFORMATIONS; SURFACE ENERGY; SURFACES; TEMPERATURE DEPENDENCE; THERMAL EQUILIBRIUM