(582e) A Microscopic View of Nucleation in the Anatase-to-Rutile Transformation

Authors: 
Fichthorn, K., Pennsylvania State University


We use molecular simulation techniques to investigate the anatase-to-rutile tansformation in titania nanocrystals. A thermodynamic analysis indicates that edge and corner atoms significantly influence the critical size at which rutile nanocrystals become energetically preferred over anatase.  Using molecular dynamics simulations, we probe kinetics of the transformation in individual anatase nanocrystals and in nanocrystal aggregates.  We follow structural evolution using simulated X-ray diffraction.  Additionally, we develop a local order parameter to distinguish individual Ti ions as anatase, rutile, or anatase {112} twin-like.  We apply our local order parameter to track the formation and growth of rutile nuclei. Anatase {112} twins form easily at surfaces and interfaces of nanocrystal aggregates and rutile nucleates among the twins.  Stable rutile nuclei maintain {101} facets during growth, as a result of nucleation from layers of alternating anatase {112} twins, until the growth is inhibited at surfaces and grain boundaries. Our results are in agreement with experiment and indicate the central role of {112} twin-like anatase in the transformation.
See more of this Session: Nucleation and Growth III

See more of this Group/Topical: Separations Division