Melting and superheating in solids with volume shrinkage at melting: A molecular dynamics study of silicon

Zhang, Qi; Li, Qikai; Li, Mo
January 2013
Journal of Chemical Physics;1/28/2013, Vol. 138 Issue 4, p044504
Academic Journal
The thermodynamics of homogeneous melting in superheated crystalline solids with volume shrinkage at melting is investigated using extensive molecular dynamics simulation in conjunction with a classical nucleation theory. A liquid-solid co-existing model is established to overcome the difficult in observing liquid phase formation in a superheated Si crystal. We found that melting is governed by two major factors, the volume change induced strain energy and the curvature of the interface between the liquid and the solid phases. The driving force for melting in superheating regime is lowered by the additional strain energy that restricts homogeneous nucleation of a liquid phase till temperature rises above the normal melting point, thus causing superheating. However, due to the abnormal behavior in the compressibility of the silicon liquid in the superheating regime, the degree of superheating in terms of the liquid nucleation gap becomes significantly reduced. More potential complications caused by the change of the atomic bonding in Si at melting are discussed.


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