Predicting the Rate of Homogeneous Intermetallic Nucleation within Steep Composition Gradients

P Yi and DH Ruan and TP Weihs and ML Falk, JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY C, 124, 23807-23814 (2020).

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.0c08591

Simulations of isothermal homogeneous nucleation from deeply undercooled amorphous melts exhibit systematic variations in nucleation behavior depending upon the strength of an imposed composition gradient. Data from molecular dynamics (MD) simulations in a model Ni/Al system permit quantification of the nucleation rate of the NiAl-B2 intermetallic phase and indicate that nucleation proceeds in a polymorphous mode. The nucleation rate decreases with increasing gradient, and nucleation is completely suppressed above a critical gradient. Based on an argument of crystal nucleus stability, a simple estimate provides good prediction of the critical gradient. A modified classical nucleation model parameterized with thermodynamic and kinetic quantities calculated independently predicts the nucleation rates and their variation with the imposed gradient, matching the MD results very well.

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