2020 Impact factor 1.890
Soft Matter and Biological Physics

EPJ E Review - Watching crystals grow

Ice nucleus forming in supercooled liquid water
© Philipp Geiger

Crystallization, a typical self-organization process during which a disordered state spontaneously transforms into an ordered one, a crystal, usually proceeds by nucleation and growth. In the initial stages of the transformation, a localized nucleus of the new phase forms due to a random fluctuation. Most of these small nuclei disappear after a short time, but in some rare cases a crystalline embryo may reach a critical size, after which further growth becomes thermodynamically favorable and the entire system is converted into the new phase.

In this EPJ E review paper, Jungblut and Dellago discuss several theoretical concepts and computational methods to better understand crystallization. More specifically, they address the rare event problem arising in the simulation of nucleation processes, and explain how to calculate nucleation rates accurately. Particular emphasis is placed on discussing statistical tools to analyze crystallization trajectories and identify the transition mechanism.

Editors-in-Chief
F. Croccolo, F. Graner and H. Stark
I would like to express my gratitude for correcting my proof and the fantastic job that you have done for me [...] The quality of the proof [...] was excellent. I appreciate it.

A. Esmaeeli, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, IL, USA

ISSN (Print Edition): 1292-8941
ISSN (Electronic Edition): 1292-895X

© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer-Verlag