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Evidence for a liquid-solid critical point in a simple monatomic system
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Numerical Analysis, NA.
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Materials Science and Engineering, Physical Metallurgy.
2009 (English)In: Journal of Chemical Physics, ISSN 0021-9606, E-ISSN 1089-7690, Vol. 131, no 10, 104502- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

It is commonly believed that the transition line separating a liquid and a solid cannot be interrupted by a critical point. This opinion is based on the traditional symmetry argument that an isotropic liquid cannot be continuously transformed into a crystal with a discrete rotational and translational symmetry. We present here a molecular-dynamics simulation of a simple monatomic system suggesting the existence of a liquid-solid spinodal terminating at a critical point. We show that, in the critical region, the isotropic liquid continuously transforms into a phase with a mesoscopic order similar to that of the smectic liquid crystals. We argue that the existence of both the spinodal and the critical point can be explained by the close structural proximity between the mesophase and the crystal. This indicates a possibility of finding a similar thermodynamic behavior in gelating colloids, liquid crystals, and polymers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 131, no 10, 104502- p.
National Category
Physical Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-32177DOI: 10.1063/1.3213616ISI: 000269814800028ScopusID: 2-s2.0-70349290812OAI: diva2:409565
QC 20110408Available from: 2011-04-08 Created: 2011-04-08 Last updated: 2011-04-08Bibliographically approved

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