Surface nucleation in the crystallisation of polyethylene droplets

  • J. L. Carvalho
  • K. Dalnoki-Veress
Regular Article


The division of semi-crystalline polymeric material into small domains is an effective tool for studying crystal nucleation. The scaling behavior of the nucleation rate as a function of domain size can reveal important information about the mechanism responsible for the birth of a crystal nucleus. We have investigated the process of crystal nucleation in a system of dewetted polyethylene droplets. Through the use of a correlation sample analysis, we are able to differentiate between heterogeneous and homogeneous nucleation mechanisms in a droplet sample. An analysis of the dependence of the nucleation rate on droplet size reveals that the nucleation probability scales with the surface area of the droplet.


Droplet Size Nucleation Rate Homogeneous Nucleation Crystal Nucleation Crystal Nucleus 
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Copyright information

© EDP Sciences, SIF, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Physics & Astronomy and the Brockhouse Institute for Materials ResearchMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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