(688g) Nucleation of Capillary Bridges and Bubbles

Delhommelle, J., University of North Dakota
Desgranges, C., University of North Dakota
Using molecular simulation, we analyze the capillary condensation and evaporation processes. For this purpose, we define the entropy of the adsorbed fluid as a reaction coordinate, and determine the free energy associated with both processes. We find capillary condensation to proceed through the nucleation of a liquid bridge across the nanopore, followed by its expansion throughout the pore to give rise to the stable phase of high density. For capillary evaporation, we also find a multi-staged process, starting with the initial destabilization of the fluid structure followed by the formation of a bubble in the nanopore.