Homogeneous crystal nucleation in liquid copper under quasi-isentropic compression

Y Cai and L Wang and HA Wu and MH Zhu and CL Liu and SN Luo, PHYSICAL REVIEW B, 92, 014108 (2015).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.92.014108

Shock-induced freezing in liquids has long been a subject of interest as well as mystery. With large-scale molecular dynamics simulations, we demonstrate that homogeneous crystal nucleation in liquid Cu can be realized under effective supercooling (theta), via quasi-isentropic compression or ramp wave loading with a particle velocity u(p) achievedwithin a ramp time tau. The simulations yield the tau-u(p)-theta relations for homogeneous crystallization at the spatial and temporal scales of molecular dynamics; a ramp wave loading with tau similar to 100 ps is essentially isentropic for liquid Cu. Based on classical nucleation theory, we predict theta, and thus u(p), as required for homogenous nucleation in experiments with larger length and time scales. Homogeneous nucleation can also be achieved with shock loading in initially supercooled liquids.

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