Molecular dynamics analysis of multiple site growth and coalescence effects on homogeneous and heterogeneous nucleations

D Suh and W Yoon and M Shibahara and S Jung, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 128, 154523 (2008).

DOI: 10.1063/1.2904459

Homogeneous and heterogeneous nucleations were simulated by molecular dynamics (MD). The behavior of Lennard-Jones molecules was studied inside a liquid-gas system where all dimensions of the wall were periodic and a soft core carrier gas within the system controlled the temperature. In this study, the classical nucleation theory was found to underestimate the homogeneous nucleation rate by five orders of magnitude, which complies with other MD studies. The discrepancy in the nucleation rate between theory and simulation was mainly caused by the fundamental assumption that there are no volumetric interactions in the growth process. In this particular case, however, growth was observed at multiple sites due to Ostwald ripening and coalescence between nuclei by Brownian motion. Furthermore, even though the supersaturation ratio is inadequate for homogeneous nucleation, once a seed is introduced to the system, a cluster can be created. The addition of seeds not only enhances nucleation but also renders coalescence as an important nucleation mechanism in the earlier stages compared to homogeneous nucleation. (c) 2008 American Institute of Physics.

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