Deliquescence and efflorescence of small particles: Unifying perspectives from nucleation theory

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We examine size dependent deliquescence/efflorescence phase transformation for particles down to several nanometers in size. A thin layer criterion (TLC) is introduced to define a deliquescence relative humidity (DRH) for small particles. The usual bulk deliquescence conditions are recovered in the limit of large dry particle size. Nano-size particles are shown to deliquesce to metastable states via a nucleation process at relative humidity just below the DRH. The nucleation barrier is located at a critical solution layer thickness and vanishes at the DRH defined by the TLC. Methods from nucleation theory form the basis for the analysis and yield new ... continued below

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McGraw,R. & Lewis, E. February 23, 2009.

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We examine size dependent deliquescence/efflorescence phase transformation for particles down to several nanometers in size. A thin layer criterion (TLC) is introduced to define a deliquescence relative humidity (DRH) for small particles. The usual bulk deliquescence conditions are recovered in the limit of large dry particle size. Nano-size particles are shown to deliquesce to metastable states via a nucleation process at relative humidity just below the DRH. The nucleation barrier is located at a critical solution layer thickness and vanishes at the DRH defined by the TLC. Methods from nucleation theory form the basis for the analysis and yield new insights into the theory, facilitate the interpretation of measurements, and point to unification of deliquescence and efflorescence processes for particles in the nano regime. Methods include thermodynamic area constructions, Legendre transforms relating the binary free-energy surfaces for deliquescence and efflorescence processes, and application of nucleation theorems.

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  • Report No.: BNL--82086-2009-CP
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-98CH10886
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 951298
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc933380

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  • February 23, 2009

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  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Dec. 12, 2016, 8:30 p.m.

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McGraw,R. & Lewis, E. Deliquescence and efflorescence of small particles: Unifying perspectives from nucleation theory, article, February 23, 2009; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc933380/: accessed November 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.