To the Theory of Homogeneous Nucleation: Cluster Energy
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An attempt is made to critically analyze the modern state of the theory of homogeneous nucleation as concerns its ability to describe experiments with high accuracy. An analysis of the experimental data led us to conclude that the dependence of the nucleation rate on supersaturation and temperature T was not described by the theory, which underestimates the critical cluster size compared with the Gibbs-Thomson equation. The possibility of applying density functional theory ( one of the latest achievements in the theory of homogeneous nucleation) was questioned. Within this theory, the Gibbs-Thomson equation remains valid even outside the classic capillary approximation. It is suggested that, to bring theory in consistency with experiment, certain fundamental propositions of the theory of nucleation should be revised. The inclusion of an additional contribution to the Gibbs energy of a cluster caused by the size dependence of the specific heat capacity of the cluster decreases the critical cluster size compared with the value calculated by the Gibbs-Thomson equation. The calculated dependence of nucleation rate on supersaturation was in agreement with the experimental results.
Russian Journal of Physical Chemistry A
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Condensed Matter Modelling and Density Functional Theory