Regular Article

Theoretical Chemistry Accounts

, Volume 116, Issue 1, pp 169-182

First online:

Understanding the chemical physics of nucleation

  • Shawn M. KathmannAffiliated withChemical Sciences Division, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Email author 

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Observation and theory have steadily progressed our understanding of nucleation phenomena over the past 280 years. However, even more questions remain concerning the governing processes and mechanisms. The inherent instability and sensitivity of nucleation places a high premium on theoretical accuracy and experimental purity and similarly makes interpretation of both more challenging. The objective of the present paper is to contribute to the understanding of nucleation kinetics and thermodynamics with emphasis on cluster chemical physics within the context of Dynamical Nucleation Theory. Our hope is to share some insights that we have gained over the past several years concerning rate constants, molecular interactions, statistical mechanics and their consequences on nucleation.