We use Brownian dynamics simulations in combination with the umbrella sampling technique to study the effect of shear flow on homogeneous crystal nucleation. We find that a homogeneous shear rate leads to a significant suppression of the crystal nucleation rate and to an increase of the size of the critical nucleus. A simple, phenomenological extension of classical nucleation theory accounts for these observations. The orientation of the crystal nucleus is tilted with respect to the shear direction.

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Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1103/physrevlett.93.068303
Journal Phys. Rev. Lett.
Blaak, R, Auer, S. A, Frenkel, D, & Löwen, H. (2004). Crystal nucleation of colloidal suspensions under shear. Phys.Rev.Lett., 93(Article number: 68303), 1–4. doi:10.1103/physrevlett.93.068303