Nucleation Theory

Front Cover
Springer, Nov 28, 2012 - Science - 316 pages

One of the most striking phenomena in condensed matter physics is the occurrence of abrupt transitions in the structure of a substance at certain temperatures or pressures. These are first order phase transitions, and examples such as the freezing of water are familiar in everyday life. The conditions at which the transformation takes place can sometimes vary. For example, the freezing point of water is not always 0C, but the liquid can be supercooled considerably if it is pure enough and treated carefully. The reason for this phenomenon is nucleation.

This monograph covers all major available routes of theoretical research of nucleation phenomena (phenomenological models, semi-phenomenological theories, density functional theories, microscopic and semi-microscopic approaches), with emphasis on the formation of liquid droplets from a metastable vapor. Also, it illustrates the application of these various approaches to experimentally relevant problems.

In spite of the familiarity of the involved phenomena, it is still impossible to calculate nucleation accurately, as the properties and the kinetics of the daughter phase are insufficiently well known. Existing theories based upon classical nucleation theory have on the whole explained the trends in behavior correctly. However they often fail spectacularly to account for new data, in particular in the case of binary or, more generally, multi-component nucleation. The current challenge of this book is to go beyond such classical models and provide a more satisfactory theory by using density functional theory and microscopic computer simulations in order to describe the properties of small clusters. Also, semi-phenomenological models are proposed, which attempt to relate the properties of small clusters to known properties of the bulk phases.

This monograph is an introduction as well as a compendium to researchers in soft condensed matter physics and chemical physics, graduate and post-graduate students in physics and chemistry starting on research in the area of nucleation, and to experimentalists wishing to gain a better understanding of the efforts being made to account for their data.

 

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Contents

1 Introduction
1
2 Some Thermodynamic Aspects of TwoPhase Systems
5
3 Classical Nucleation Theory
17
4 Nucleation Theorems
42
5 Density Functional Theory
55
6 Extended Modified Liquid Drop Model and Dynamic Nucleation Theory
71
7 MeanField Kinetic Nucleation Theory
79
8 Computer Simulation of Nucleation
113
14 MultiComponent Nucleation
238
15 Heterogeneous Nucleation
253
16 Experimental Methods
277
Appendix A Thermodynamic Properties
292
Appendix B Size of a ChainLike Molecule
297
Appendix C Spinodal Supersaturation for van derWaalsFluid
299
Appendix D Partial Molecular Volumes
301
Appendix E Mixtures of Hard Spheres
305

9 Nucleation at High Supersaturations
145
10 Argon Nucleation
160
Classical Theory
171
Density Functional Theory
204
13 CoarseGrained Theory of Binary Nucleation
215
Appendix F Second Virial Coefficient for Pure Substancesand Mixtures
307
Appendix G Saddle Point Calculations
309
Index
313
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