Soluble Oligomeric Nucleants : Simulations of Chain Length, Binding Strength, and Volume Fraction Effects

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2017
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Poon, Geoffrey G
Molinero, Valeria
Peters, Baron
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Recent theories and simulations suggest that molecular additives can bind to the surfaces of nuclei, lower the surface energy, and accelerate nucleation. Experiments have shown that oligomeric and polymeric additives can also modify nucleation rates of proteins, ice, and minerals; however, general design principles for oligomeric or polymeric promoters do not yet exist. Here we investigate oligomeric additives for which each segment of the oligomer can bind to surfaces of nuclei. We use semigrand canonical Monte Carlo simulations in a Potts lattice gas model to study the effects of oligomer chain length, volume fraction, and binding strength. We find that increasing each of those parameters lowers the nucleation barrier. At extremely low oligomer concentrations, the nucleation kinetics can be modeled as though each oligomer is a heterogeneous nucleation site in solution.

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ISO 690POON, Geoffrey G, Tobias LEMKE, Christine PETER, Valeria MOLINERO, Baron PETERS, 2017. Soluble Oligomeric Nucleants : Simulations of Chain Length, Binding Strength, and Volume Fraction Effects. In: The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters. 2017, 8(23), pp. 5815-5820. eISSN 1948-7185. Available under: doi: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.7b02651
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@article{Poon2017-12-07Solub-41118,
  year={2017},
  doi={10.1021/acs.jpclett.7b02651},
  title={Soluble Oligomeric Nucleants : Simulations of Chain Length, Binding Strength, and Volume Fraction Effects},
  number={23},
  volume={8},
  journal={The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters},
  pages={5815--5820},
  author={Poon, Geoffrey G and Lemke, Tobias and Peter, Christine and Molinero, Valeria and Peters, Baron}
}
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