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Properties of liquid clusters in large-scale molecular dynamics nucleation simulations


Angélil, Raymond; Diemand, Jürg; Tanaka, Kyoko K; Tanaka, Hidekazu (2014). Properties of liquid clusters in large-scale molecular dynamics nucleation simulations. Journal of Chemical Physics, 140(7):074303.

Abstract

We have performed large-scale Lennard-Jones molecular dynamics simulations of homogeneous vapor-to-liquid nucleation, with 109 atoms. This large number allows us to resolve extremely low nucleation rates, and also provides excellent statistics for cluster properties over a wide range of cluster sizes. The nucleation rates, cluster growth rates, and size distributions are presented in Diemand et al. [J. Chem. Phys. 139, 74309 (2013)], while this paper analyses the properties of the clusters. We explore the cluster temperatures, density profiles, potential energies, and shapes. A thorough understanding of the properties of the clusters is crucial to the formulation of nucleation models. Significant latent heat is retained by stable clusters, by as much as ΔkT = 0.1ɛ for clusters with size i = 100. We find that the clusters deviate remarkably from spherical—with ellipsoidal axis ratios for critical cluster sizes typically within b/c = 0.7 ± 0.05 and a/c = 0.5 ± 0.05. We examine cluster spin angular momentum, and find that it plays a negligible role in the cluster dynamics. The interfaces of large, stable clusters are thinner than planar equilibrium interfaces by 10%-30%. At the critical cluster size, the cluster central densities are between 5% and 30% lower than the bulk liquid expectations. These lower densities imply larger-than-expected surface areas, which increase the energy cost to form a surface, which lowers nucleation rates.

Abstract

We have performed large-scale Lennard-Jones molecular dynamics simulations of homogeneous vapor-to-liquid nucleation, with 109 atoms. This large number allows us to resolve extremely low nucleation rates, and also provides excellent statistics for cluster properties over a wide range of cluster sizes. The nucleation rates, cluster growth rates, and size distributions are presented in Diemand et al. [J. Chem. Phys. 139, 74309 (2013)], while this paper analyses the properties of the clusters. We explore the cluster temperatures, density profiles, potential energies, and shapes. A thorough understanding of the properties of the clusters is crucial to the formulation of nucleation models. Significant latent heat is retained by stable clusters, by as much as ΔkT = 0.1ɛ for clusters with size i = 100. We find that the clusters deviate remarkably from spherical—with ellipsoidal axis ratios for critical cluster sizes typically within b/c = 0.7 ± 0.05 and a/c = 0.5 ± 0.05. We examine cluster spin angular momentum, and find that it plays a negligible role in the cluster dynamics. The interfaces of large, stable clusters are thinner than planar equilibrium interfaces by 10%-30%. At the critical cluster size, the cluster central densities are between 5% and 30% lower than the bulk liquid expectations. These lower densities imply larger-than-expected surface areas, which increase the energy cost to form a surface, which lowers nucleation rates.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute for Computational Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:530 Physics
Language:English
Date:February 2014
Deposited On:30 Sep 2014 12:52
Last Modified:12 May 2016 12:44
Publisher:American Institute of Physics
ISSN:0021-9606
Additional Information:Copyright 2014 American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics. The following article appeared in Properties of liquid clusters in large-scale molecular dynamics nucleation simulations and may be found athttp://scitation.aip.org/content/aip/journal/jcp/140/7/10.1063/1.4865256
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4865256

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