Volume 38, Number 8, June II 1997
|Page(s)||595 - 600|
|Section||Condensed matter: structure, thermal and mechanical properties|
|Published online||01 September 2002|
Role of metastable states in phase ordering dynamics
Department of Physics & Astronomy, The University of Edinburgh - Edinburgh EH9 3JZ, UK
Accepted: 13 May 1997
We show that the rate of separation of two phases of different densities (e.g. gas and solid) can be radically altered by the presence of a metastable intermediate phase (e.g. liquid). Within a Cahn-Hilliard theory we study the growth in one dimension of a solid droplet from a supersaturated gas. A moving interface between solid and gas phases (say) can, for sufficient (transient) supersaturation, unbind into two interfaces separated by a slab of metastable liquid phase. We investigate the criteria for unbinding, and show that it may strongly impede the growth of the solid phase.
PACS: 64.60.My – Metastable phases / 05.70.Ln – Nonequilibrium thermodynamics, irreversible processes / 82.70.Dd – Colloids
© EDP Sciences, 1997
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