When a two-component mixture with an off-critical composition is quenched into the metastable region of its phase diagram, the nucleation barriers may be reduced or eliminated near a substrate that wets the majority phase. The appearance of nuclei and the subsequent domain growth of the nonwetting minority phase can thus occur near such a surface, long before the nucleation and the growth can occur in the bulk. We characterize this surface-induced nucleation process by a numerical study of a model system, and address the issue of experimentally observing it.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Statistics and Probability
- Condensed Matter Physics