Scaling properties of critical nuclei and nucleation rate

McGraw, Robert
August 2000
AIP Conference Proceedings;2000, Vol. 534 Issue 1, p373
Academic Journal
Scaling approaches to nucleation are reviewed first for molecular properties of the critical nucleus and then for the nucleation rate. Scaling properties of critical nuclei are based on the Kelvin relation. These are reexamined in light of more recent density functional and molecular dynamics calculations. For the nucleation rate scaling we derive thermodynamic phase space paths of constant reduced nucleation barrier height, W*/kT. These paths, expressed in terms of the conjugate variables T and lnS, where T is temperature and S is saturation ratio, approximate conditions at the nucleation threshold and contours of constant nucleation rate. Finally we show that both scaling approaches (molecular and rate) are fundamentally connected through nucleation theorems and may therefore be combined. The combination of Kelvin-based molecular scaling and scaled nucleation theory for the rate is derived and shown to give a temperature dependence that is in agreement with experiment.


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