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Published February 1994 | metadata_only
Journal Article

Nucleation in the pre-coalescence stages: universal kinetic laws


This article is devoted to a detailed summary of recent results on the dynamic scaling of the cluster size distribution (CSD) and other universal kinetic laws in the pre-coalescence stages of nucleation and growth. A comprehensive presentation is given to the systematic approaches developed for elucidating the dynamic evolution of the CSD for sizes within the nucleation barrier layer (NBL) and beyond. In the pre-coalescence stages of nucleation and before the complete depletion of the monomer, the CSD for sizes within and beyond the NBL obey dynamic scaling relations. The dynamic scaling relations and their asymptotic limits are invariant to the size dependence of the cluster formation energy. For sizes beyond the NBL, the scaling relation of the CSD exhibits an asymptotic universal power law, the exponent of which depends only on the interphase interfacial atom transport mechanism. Comparison with limited available experimental data for sizes beyond the NBL confirms the predictions. The physical reasons behind the universal kinetic laws in the pre-coalescence stages of nucleation are outlined. The universal kinetic laws open a doorway to the systematic study of nucleation in condensed materials by providing a general novel foundation to guide the design of nucleation experiments and to elucidate fundamental mechanisms based on macroscopic observations of the duster size distribution in the pre-coalescence stages of nucleation and growth.

Additional Information

© 1994 Elsevier B.V. Received April 2, 1993. It is a great pleasure for FGS to express his sincere gratitude to Dr King-Ning Tu for his encouragement, guidance and substantial advice that have been so important. FGS also would like to express his appreciation to Hideya Kumomi for providing the data used in Fig. 5, and to many friends for their helpful comments. Since the publication of an earlier work (Phys. Rev. A, 1990), there have been inquiries from colleagues around the world concerning the discontinuity at t=O of the solution for the transient cluster size distribution. The issue has been addressed in Section 3.1.4. We are very grateful to Drs D. Kaschiev, J.J. Hoyt and Hideya Kumomi and many other colleagues for their useful comments, which have led to the resolution of this issue.

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August 20, 2023
August 20, 2023