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Transient and Athermal Nucleation of Solids in Rapidly Quenched Liquid Si

  • Vikas V. Gupta (a1) and James S. Im (a1)

Abstract

We have theoretically investigated the nature and kinetics of solid nucleation in supercooled liquid Si within the framework of the classical nucleation theory, and corresponding to the cases in which the liquids are quenched at extremely high quenching rates (from 109 to 1011 K/s). In doing so, we identify and draw a general conclusion that in addition to the well-treated phenomenon of transient nucleation, one must also consider the mechanism of athermal nucleation in order to properly elucidate the situations that are encountered at such high quenching rates. Moreover, contrary to the common notion that the transient effect is relevant at low temperatures where sluggish kinetics prevail, it is noted that the effect can also become prominent at near-equilibrium conditions due to the increase in the time needed by the embryos to reach the exceedingly large critical size.

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