Theory of Surface Melting and Non-Melting
The idea that crystal melting might be a surface-initiated process when the liquid wets its own solid is very old [1,2]. A massive amount of macroscopic and semimacroscopic evidence for the appearance, just below the triple point temperature T M of a quasi-liquid film at the solid-gas interface, particularly of molecular crystals, has been collected by the chemical physicists . More recently, with the advent of powerful surface physics tools, the study of this problem has begun at the microscopic level. Several crystal surfaces which melt -i.e., where a growing quasi-liquid layer forms very near but below T M - have been identified -. Other surfaces have also been found, which exhibit what might be called “non-melting”, Le. no quasi-liquid layer appears at all , or if it appears, it does not grow as TM is approached .
KeywordsSurface Free Energy Pair Correlation Function Surface Melting Liquid Layer Thickness Thouless Transition
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