Nonequilibrium processes in repulsive binary mixtures

PA Santos-Florez and M de Koning, JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL PHYSICS, 152 (2020).

DOI: 10.1063/5.0011375

We consider rapid cooling processes in classical, three-dimensional, purely repulsive binary mixtures in which an initial infinite- temperature (ideal-gas) configuration is instantly quenched to zero temperature. It is found that such systems display two kinds of ordering processes, the type of which can be controlled by tuning the interactions between unlike particles. While strong inter-species repulsion leads to chemical ordering in terms of an unmixing process, weak repulsion gives rise to spontaneous crystallization, maintaining chemical homogeneity. This result indicates the existence of a transition in the topography of the underlying potential-energy landscape as the intra-species interaction strength is varied. Furthermore, the dual-type behavior appears to be universal for repulsive pair-interaction potential-energy functions in general, with the propensity for the crystallization process being related to their behavior in the neighborhood of zero separation.

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