Fluctuation Relations of Phase Transitions – Externally Driven Crystallization


CALL: 2012

DOMAIN: MS - New Functional and Intelligent Materials and Surfaces





HOST INSTITUTION: University of Luxembourg

KEYWORDS: Fluctuation Relations, Statistical Mechanics far from Equilibrium, Crystallization, Entropy Production, Hard Ellipsoids

START: 2012-12-01

END: 2015-10-31

WEBSITE: https://www.uni.lu

Submitted Abstract

The main objective of this project is to investigate the crystallization process in suspensions of hard particles. The suspensions of hard particles are subjected to a time dependent over-compression protocol. Hard particles are characterized by their shape only, and they are often used as model systems for colloids and granular media. In this project the crystallization processes far from equilibrium will be studied via computer simulations.The preparation process of a solid starts in the thermodynamically stable liquid state of the system. An increase of the external pressure, above the coexistence pressure, will drive the system into its solid phase. During this process formation of crystallites and dynamic arrest take place. The occurrence of these phenomena depends on the shape of the hard particles and the details of the time dependent driving. The assumption of the system evolving in a sequence of metastable equilibrium states is generally inappropriate and hence classical nucleation theory is expected to fail. The solidification process will be investigated in the framework of non-equilibrium fluctuation relations. For a given system driven far from equilibrium these relations state symmetries of the distribution of dissipated heat or mechanical work. Mechanical work can be analyzed during the compression process of the hard particles suspension. Two scenarios will be considered in this project — constantly increasing as well as time oscillating external pressures. Concerning the latter one, the hysteresis in the non-equilibrium steady states of the system will be investigated. In both scenarios, distributions of mechanical work will be obtained using the rare event sampling method S-PRES. The distribution of mechanical work contains the complete information about the evolution of crystallites and disorder in the system. Therefore, I want to argue that the distribution includes signatures of the first order phase transition and offers new aspects to the deeper understanding of the crystallization process in general. A systematic study has not been performed yet. This project will be of importance to the field of crystallization in colloids and to the field of non equilibrium fluctuation relations at first order phase transitions.

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