Published Research - Department of Chemistry


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Published by American Institute of Physics. J. Chem. Physics VOLUME 110, NUMBER 9, 1 MARCH 1999. ©1999 American Institute of Physics. Permission to use.


The formation free energy of clusters in a supersaturated vapor is obtained by a constrained Monte Carlo technique. A key feature of this approach is to set an upper limit to the size of cluster. This maximum cluster size serves essentially as an extra thermodynamic variable that constrains the system. As a result, clusters larger than the critical cluster of nucleation in the supersaturated vapor can no longer grow beyond the limiting size. Like changing the overall density of the system, changing the maximum cluster size also results in a different supersaturation and thereby a different formation free energy. However, at the same supersaturation and temperature it is found that the formation free energy has a unique value, independent of the upper limit of cluster size. The predicted size of critical cluster of nucleation is found to be consistent with the nucleation theorem as well as previous results using different simulation approaches.

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