Colloid Journal

, Volume 80, Issue 2, pp 167–183 | Cite as

The Rate of Spontaneous Formation of Microscopic Nuclei in Supersaturated Vapor

Article

Abstract

The equilibrium nucleus-size distribution determined by the method of statistical physics has been analyzed. The analysis has shown that nuclei composed of 1000 or fewer molecules are microscopic objects. They are described by partition functions and cannot be described by thermodynamic methods. An approach has been proposed that makes it possible to determine a partition function over internal degrees of freedom of a nucleus and express the aforementioned distribution via commonly accepted thermodynamic parameters. The solution of the problem is reduced to the determination of the evaporation rate of clusters by extrapolating the evaporation rate, which has been calculated for a macroscopic droplet of an incompressible liquid in terms of thermodynamic concepts with allowance for fluctuations, to the sizes of nuclei. As a result, a theory has been formulated for homogeneous stationary nucleation. The comparison of the proposed theory with experimental data has shown that the calculated sizes of critical nuclei coincide with the measured ones and that the theoretical nucleation rates either coincide with the measured rates or agree with them within one or two decimal orders of magnitude.

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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Multichrom Ltd.NovosibirskRussia

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