Jump to main content
Jump to site search
Access to RSC content Close the message box

Continue to access RSC content when you are not at your institution. Follow our step-by-step guide.


Issue 13, 2013
Previous Article Next Article

The effects of polydispersity and metastability on crystal growth kinetics

Author affiliations

Abstract

We investigate the effect of metastable gas–liquid (G–L) separation on crystal growth in a system of either monodisperse or slightly size-polydisperse square well particles, using a simulation setup that allows us to focus on the growth of a single crystal. Our system parameters are such that, inside the metastable G–L binodal, a macroscopic layer of the gas phase ‘coats’ the crystal as it grows, consistent with experiment and theoretical free energy considerations. Crucially, the effect of this metastable G–L separation on the crystal growth rate depends qualitatively on whether the system is polydisperse. We measure reduced polydispersity and qualitatively different local size ordering in the crystal relative to the fluid, proposing that the required fractionation is dynamically facilitated by the gas layer. Our results show that polydispersity and metastability, both ubiquitous in soft matter, must be considered in tandem if their dynamical effects are to be understood.

Graphical abstract: The effects of polydispersity and metastability on crystal growth kinetics

Back to tab navigation

Article information


Submitted
14 Nov 2012
Accepted
06 Feb 2013
First published
20 Feb 2013

Soft Matter, 2013,9, 3600-3612
Article type
Paper

The effects of polydispersity and metastability on crystal growth kinetics

J. J. Williamson and R. M. L. Evans, Soft Matter, 2013, 9, 3600
DOI: 10.1039/C3SM27627A

Social activity

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements