Reversible transient nucleation in ionic solutions as the precursor of ion crystallization
State Key Laboratory of Theoretical Physics, Institute of Theoretical Physics and Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics China, Chinese Academy of Sciences - 55 East Zhongguancun Road, P. O. Box 2735 Beijing, 100190 China
Received: 9 May 2014
Accepted: 15 July 2014
Molecular dynamics simulations for aqueous sodium chloride solutions were carried out at various concentrations. Supplementary to the Debye-Hückel theory, reversible transient nucleation of ions was observed even in dilute solutions. The average size of formed ion clusters and the lifetime of ion pairs increases with concentration until the saturation point, when ion clusters become stable and individual ions adjust their positions to form ordered lattice structures, leading to irreversible ion crystallization, which is beyond the description of the classical nucleation theory.
PACS: 05.40.-a – Fluctuation phenomena, random processes, noise, and Brownian motion / 61.20.Ja – Computer simulation of liquid structure / 64.60.Q- – Nucleation
© EPLA, 2014