We extend the density functional approach to the statistical mechanics of inhomogeneous fluids to calculate the rate of heterogeneous nucleation of the gas-to-liquid transition by a planar solid substrate. Comparison with classical nucleation theory (extended to incorporate the line tension that results from three-phase contact) reveals the inadequacy of the latter approaches as the spinodal is approached. Wetting and drying transitions have a large effect on the usefulness of classical theory. Free energies of formation for critical heterogeneous nuclei and their shapes and density profiles are calculated from density functional theory.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry