• Boyan Mutaftschiev
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSB, volume 210)


The name nucleation designates the ensemble of processes leading to the formation of a new, stable, phase inside an unstable mother phase. Insofar as the overall mechanism is dominated by the thermodynamic properties of the embryos of the new phase, it can be (and has been, first) considered by the methods of heterophase thermodynamics. This is also the way nucleation is taught in common courses and manuals. However, one must be aware that every phase transformation starts by the association of a very small number of molecules of the mother phase and, thus, has all the characteristics of a chemical reaction of polymerization. The purely chemical approach to nucleation is a powerful tool, which is inconvenient in only one but major point: it necessitates a large number of parameters, describing the intermediate stages of the overall reaction, associated with the formation of differently sized embryos.


Partition Function Critical Nucleus Equilibrium Shape Size Distribution Function Excess Free Energy 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Boyan Mutaftschiev
    • 1
  1. 1.CNRS - Laboratoire Maurice LetortVillers-les-NancyFrance

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