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Phase coexistence in melting aluminum clusters.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
The Journal of Chemical Physics
1089-7690
Publisher
American Institute of Physics
Publication Date
Volume
130
Issue
20
Pages
204303–204303
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1063/1.3129525
PMID: 19485445
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The internal energy distributions for melting aluminum cluster cations with 100, 101, 126, and 127 atoms have been investigated using multicollision induced dissociation. The experimental results can be best fit with a statistical thermodynamic model that incorporates only fully solidlike and fully liquidlike clusters so that the internal energy distributions become bimodal during melting. This result is consistent with computer simulations of small clusters, where rapid fluctuations between entirely solidlike and entirely liquidlike states occur during the phase change. To establish a bimodal internal energy distribution, the time between the melting and freezing transitions must be longer than the time required for equilibration of the energy distribution (which is estimated to be around 1-2 micros under our conditions). For Al(100)(+) and Al(101)(+), the results indicate that this criterion is largely met. However, for Al(126)(+) and Al(127)(+), it appears that the bimodal energy distributions are partly filled in, suggesting that either the time between the melting and freezing transitions is comparable to the equilibration time or that the system starts to switch to macroscopic behavior where the phase change occurs with the two phases in contact.

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