Surface premelting/recrystallization governing the collapse of open-cell nanoporous Cu via thermal annealing

L Wang and XM Zhang and L Deng and JF Tang and SF Xiao and HQ Deng and WY Hu, PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 20, 16184-16192 (2018).

DOI: 10.1039/c8cp02287a

We systematically investigate the collapse of a set of open-cell nanoporous Cu (np-Cu) materials with the same porosity and shape but different specific surface areas, during thermal annealing, by performing large-scale molecular dynamics simulations. Two mechanisms govern the collapse of np-Cu. One is direct surface premelting, facilitating the collapse of np-Cu, when the specific surface area is less than a critical value (similar to 2.38 nm(-1)). The other is recrystallization followed by surface premelting, accelerating the sloughing of ligaments and the annihilation of voids, when the critical specific surface area is exceeded. Surface premelting results from surface reconstruction by prompting localized "disordering" and "chaos" on the surface, and the melting temperature reduces linearly with the increase of the specific surface area. Recrystallization is followed by surface premelting as the melting temperature is below the supercooling point, where a liquid is unstable and instantaneously recrystallizes.

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