Ames Laboratory; Physics and Astronomy
Physics and Astronomy, Ames Laboratory
Physical Review Materials
The nucleation rate depends on the free-energy barrier and the kinetic factor. While the role of the free energy barrier is a text-book subject, the importance of the kinetic factor is frequently underestimated. In this study, we applied the mean first-passage time method, to obtain the free-energy landscape and kinetic factor directly from the molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of the nucleation of the face-centered cubic (fcc) phase in the pure Ni and the B2 phases in the N i 50 A l 50 and C u 50 Z r 50 alloys. The obtained data show that while the free-energy barrier for nucleation is higher in pure Ni the nucleation rate is considerably lower in the N i 50 A l 50 alloy. This result can be explained by the slow attachment kinetics in the N i 50 A l 50 alloy, which was related to the ordered nature of the B2 phase. Even smaller fraction of the antisite defects in the C u 50 Z r 50 alloy leads to such a slow attachment kinetics that the nucleation is never observed for this alloy in the course of the MD simulation. This is consistent with the experimental facts that the C u 50 Z r 50 alloy is a good glass forming alloy and the N i 50 A l 50 alloy is not. Thus the present study demonstrates that the atom attachment rate can be the critical factor that controls the nucleation process under certain conditions.
Department of Energy Subject Categories
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY
Iowa State University Digital Repository, Ames IA (United States)