Characterization of local structures with bond-order parameters and graphs of the nearest neighbors, a comparison
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We compare two methods for the characterization of local order in samples undergoing crystal nucleation and growth. Particles with a crystal-like surrounding need to be identified to follow the nucleation process. Both methods are based on the knowledge of the particle positions in a small volume of the sample. (i) Local bond-order parameters are used to quantify the orientation of the nearest neighbors of a particle, while (ii) the graph method determines the topological arrangement of the nearest neighbors and the bonds between them. Both methods are used to detect crystal-like particles and crystal nuclei in a supercooled fluid surrounding and to determine the structure of small crystal nuclei. The properties of these nuclei are of great interest for a deeper understanding of crystal nucleation, and they can be studied in detail in colloidal model systems that allow to follow the evolution of the nuclei with single particle resolution.
KeywordsEuropean Physical Journal Special Topic Graph Method Central Particle Crystal Nucleation Crystal Nucleus
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