Accelerated Nucleation Due to Trace Additives: A Fluctuating Coverage Model

Geoffrey G. Poon, Baron Peters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We develop a theory to account for variable coverage of trace additives that lower the interfacial free energy for nucleation. The free energy landscape is based on classical nucleation theory and a statistical mechanical model for Langmuir adsorption. Dynamics are modeled by diffusion-controlled attachment and detachment of solutes and adsorbing additives. We compare the mechanism and kinetics from a mean-field model, a projection of the dynamics and free energy surface onto nucleus size, and a full two-dimensional calculation using Kramers-Langer-Berezhkovskii-Szabo theory. The fluctuating coverage model predicts rates more accurately than mean-field models of the same process primarily because it more accurately estimates the potential of mean force along the size coordinate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1679-1684
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number8
StatePublished - Mar 3 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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