## Abstract

A typical nucleation-growth process is considered: a system is quenched into a supersaturated state with a small critical radius r^{-} _{*} and is allowed to nucleate during a finite time interval t_{n}, after which the supersaturation is abruptly reduced to a fixed value with a larger critical radius r^{+}_{*}. The size-distribution of nucleated particles f (r,t) further evolves due to their deterministic growth and decay for r larger or smaller than r+, respectively. A general analytic expressions for f (r,t) is obtained, and it is shown that after a large growth time t this distribution approaches an asymptotic shape determined by two dimensionless parameters, λ related to t_{n}, and = r^{+}_{*}/r^{-}_{*}. This shape is strongly asymmetric with an exponential and double-exponential cutoffs at small and large sizes, respectively, and with a broad near-flat top in case of a long pulse. Conversely, for a short pulse the distribution acquires a distinct maximum at r= rmax (t) and approaches a universal shape exp [ξ- e^{ξ}], with ξ α r r^{max}, independent of the pulse duration. General asymptotic predictions are examined in terms of Zeldovich-Frenkel nucleation model where the entire transient behavior can be described in terms of the Lambert W function. Modifications for the Turnbull-Fisher model are also considered, and analytics is compared with exact numerics. Results are expected to have direct implementations in analysis of two-step annealing crystallization experiments, although other applications might be anticipated due to universality of the nucleation pulse technique.

Original language | English (US) |
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Article number | 164115 |

Journal | Journal of Chemical Physics |

Volume | 131 |

Issue number | 16 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - 2009 |

## All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

- General Physics and Astronomy
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry