We study the kinetics of crystal nucleation of an undercooled Lennard-Jones liquid using various path-sampling methods. We obtain the rate constant and elucidate the pathways for crystal nucleation. Analysis of the path ensemble reveals that crystal nucleation occurs along many different pathways, in which critical solid nuclei can be small, compact, and face centered cubic, but also large, less ordered, and more body centered cubic. The reaction coordinate thus includes, besides the cluster size, also the quality of the crystal structure.

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Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1103/physrevlett.94.235703
Journal Phys. Rev. Lett.
Citation
Moroni, D, ten Wolde, P.R, & Bolhuis, P.G. (2005). Interplay between structure and size in a critical crystal nucleus. Phys.Rev.Lett., 94(Article number: 235703), 1–4. doi:10.1103/physrevlett.94.235703