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/content/aip/journal/jcp/141/7/10.1063/1.4893701
2014-08-21
2016-12-04

Abstract

One of the main challenges of thermodynamics is to predict and measure accurately the properties of metastable fluids. Investigation of these fluids is hindered by their spontaneous transformation by nucleation into a more stable phase. We show how small closed containers can be used to completely prevent nucleation, achieving infinitely long-lived metastable states. Using a general thermodynamic framework, we derive simple formulas to predict accurately the conditions (container sizes) at which this superstabilization takes place and it becomes impossible to form a new stable phase. This phenomenon opens the door to control nucleation of deeply metastable fluids at experimentally feasible conditions, having important implications in a wide variety of fields.

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