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Issue 12, 2011
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Heterogeneous and homogeneous crystal nucleation in a colloidal model system of charged spheres at low metastabilities

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Abstract

We have studied the nucleation kinetics in the bulk as well as at the container walls of a charged sphere colloidal model system under salt-free conditions close to the fluid–crystal phase boundary. We determined time resolved nucleation rate densities for heterogeneous nucleation on the wall, the corresponding nucleation rate densities for homogeneous nucleation and compare the resulting nucleation barrier heights. The homogeneous barrier height decreases exponentially with increasing metastability, while the heterogeneous barrier displays a sharp transition from a constant value close to the phase boundary to zero at higher metastability. As a consequence the microstructure evolution is dominated by a competition between the wall crystal growth and homogeneous nucleation.

Graphical abstract: Heterogeneous and homogeneous crystal nucleation in a colloidal model system of charged spheres at low metastabilities

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Publication details

The article was received on 14 Feb 2011, accepted on 05 Apr 2011 and first published on 14 May 2011


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C1SM05246B
Citation: Soft Matter, 2011,7, 5685-5690
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    Heterogeneous and homogeneous crystal nucleation in a colloidal model system of charged spheres at low metastabilities

    A. Engelbrecht, R. Meneses and H. J. Schöpe, Soft Matter, 2011, 7, 5685
    DOI: 10.1039/C1SM05246B

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