Superheating in Nanoparticles

Authored by: Shaun C. Hendy , Nicola Gaston

3 Handbook of Nanophysics

Print publication date:  September  2010
Online publication date:  April  2016

Print ISBN: 9781420075441
eBook ISBN: 9781420075458
Adobe ISBN:


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While the supercooling of liquids below their freezing temperature is a frequently observed phenomenon, the superheating of solids is far less common. The reason for this is that most solids tend to premelt at their surfaces at temperatures slightly below their melting point (Tartaglinoa et al., 2005). This surface pre-melting means that when the melting point is reached, the nucleation of liquid is not required for the solid to melt, so the solid cannot maintain a metastable, superheated state. It is surprising then that superheating can be observed in atomic clusters (Breaux et al., 2003; Neal et al., 2007; Shvartsburg and Jarrold, 2000) and nanoparticles (Schebarchov and Hendy, 2006), which possess very large surface-to-volume ratios and typically have melting points that are substantially below those of the bulk (Buffat and Borel, 1976).

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