Excess entropy and crystallization in Stillinger-Weber and Lennard-Jones fluids

D Dhabal and AH Nguyen and M Singh and P Khatua and V Molinero and S Bandyopadhyay and C Chakravarty, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 143, 164512 (2015).

DOI: 10.1063/1.4933420

Molecular dynamics simulations are used to contrast the supercooling and crystallization behaviour of monatomic liquids that exemplify the transition from simple to anomalous, tetrahedral liquids. As examples of simple fluids, we use the Lennard-Jones (LJ) liquid and a pair-dominated Stillinger-Weber liquid (SW16). As examples of tetrahedral, water-like fluids, we use the Stillinger-Weber model with variable tetrahedrality parameterized for germanium (SW20), silicon (SW21), and water (SW23.15 or mW model). The thermodynamic response functions show clear qualitative differences between simple and water-like liquids. For simple liquids, the compressibility and the heat capacity remain small on isobaric cooling. The tetrahedral liquids in contrast show a very sharp rise in these two response functions as the lower limit of liquid- phase stability is reached. While the thermal expansivity decreases with temperature but never crosses zero in simple liquids, in all three tetrahedral liquids at the studied pressure, there is a temperature of maximum density below which thermal expansivity is negative. In contrast to the thermodynamic response functions, the excess entropy on isobaric cooling does not show qualitatively different features for simple and water-like liquids; however, the slope and curvature of the entropy- temperature plots reflect the heat capacity trends. Two trajectory-based computational estimation methods for the entropy and the heat capacity are compared for possible structural insights into supercooling, with the entropy obtained from thermodynamic integration. The two-phase thermodynamic estimator for the excess entropy proves to be fairly accurate in comparison to the excess entropy values obtained by thermodynamic integration, for all five Lennard-Jones and Stillinger- Weber liquids. The entropy estimator based on the multiparticle correlation expansion that accounts for both pair and triplet correlations, denoted by S-trip, is also studied. S-trip is a good entropy estimator for liquids where pair and triplet correlations are important such as Ge and Si, but loses accuracy for purely pair- dominated liquids, like LJ fluid, or near the crystallization temperature (T-thr). Since local tetrahedral order is compatible with both liquid and crystalline states, the reorganisation of tetrahedral liquids is accompanied by a clear rise in the pair, triplet, and thermodynamic contributions to the heat capacity, resulting in the heat capacity anomaly. In contrast, the pair-dominated liquids show increasing dominance of triplet correlations on approaching crystallization but no sharp rise in either the pair or thermodynamic heat capacities. (C) 2015 AIP Publishing LLC.

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