A model for nonclassical nucleation of solid-solid structural phase transformations

Y. A. Chu, B. Moran, A. C.E. Reid, G. B. Olson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


A new model for homogeneous nucleation of structural phase transformations, which can span the range of nucleation from classical to nonclassical, is presented. This model is extended from the classical nucleation theory by introducing driving-force dependencies into the interfacial free energy, the misfit strain energy, and the nucleus chemical free-energy change in order to capture the nonclassical nucleation phenomena. The driving-force dependencies are determined by matching the asymptotic solutions of the new model for the nucleus size and the nucleation energy barrier to the corresponding asymptotic solutions of the Landau-Ginzburg model for nucleation of solid-state phase transformations in the vicinity of lattice instability. Thus, no additional material parameters other than those of the classical nucleation theory and the Landau-Ginzburg model are required, and nonclassical nucleation behavior can be easily predicted based on the well-developed analytical solutions of the classical nucleation model. A comparison of the new model to the Landau-Ginzburg model for homogeneous nucleation of a dilatational transformation is presented as a benchmark example. An application to homogeneous nucleation of a cubic-to-tetragonal transformation is presented to illustrate the capability of this model. The nonclassical homogeneous nucleation behavior of the experimentally studied fee → bcc transformation in the Fe-Co system is examined by the new model, which predicts a 20 pet reduction in the critical driving force for homogeneous nucleation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1321-1331
Number of pages11
JournalMetallurgical and Materials Transactions A: Physical Metallurgy and Materials Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Metals and Alloys


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