- Rate of homogeneous crystal nucleation in molten NaCl
- Number of pages
- onbekend: Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences
- Document type
- Working paper
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS)
We report a numerical simulation of the rate of crystal nucleation of sodium chloride from its melt at moderate supercooling. In this regime nucleation is too slow to be studied with "brute-force" Molecular Dynamics simulations. The melting temperature of ("Tosi-Fumi") NaCl is similar to 1060K. We studied crystal nucleation at T=800K and 825K. We observe that the critical nucleus formed during the nucleation process has the crystal structure of bulk NaCl. Interestingly, the critical nucleus is clearly faceted: the nuclei have a cubical shape. We have computed the crystal-nucleation rate using two completely different approaches, one based on an estimate of the rate of diffusive crossing of the nucleation barrier, the other based on the Forward Flux Sampling and Transition Interface Sampling (FFS-TIS) methods. We find that the two methods yield the same result to within an order of magnitude. However, when we compare the extrapolated simulation data with the only available experimental results for NaCl nucleation, we observe a discrepancy of nearly 5 orders of magnitude. We discuss the possible causes for this discrepancy.
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