Free energy landscapes for homogeneous nucleation of ice for a monatomic water model

A Reinhardt and JPK Doye, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 136, 054501 (2012).

DOI: 10.1063/1.3677192

We simulate the homogeneous nucleation of ice from supercooled liquid water at 220 K in the isobaric-isothermal ensemble using the MW monatomic water potential. Monte Carlo simulations using umbrella sampling are performed in order to determine the nucleation free energy barrier. We find the Gibbs energy profile to be relatively consistent with that predicted by classical nucleation theory; the free energy barrier to nucleation was determined to be similar to 18 k(B)T and the critical nucleus comprised similar to 85 ice particles. Growth from the supercooled liquid gives clusters that are predominantly cubic, whilst starting with a pre-formed subcritical nucleus of cubic or hexagonal ice results in the growth of predominantly that phase of ice only. (C) 2012 American Institute of Physics. doi:10.1063/1.3677192

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