Nucleation

The initial stage in a phase transformation. It is evidenced by the formation of small particles (nuclei) of the new phase, which are capable of growing.

The process of providing sites for:

  1. new bubbles to form in a liquid that is boiling or supersaturated with gas
  2. new droplets to condense from a supersaturated vapour
  3. new crystals to form in a supersaturated solution. Nucleation sites can be scratches in a surface, dust particles, seed crystals, and so on.

See also: Nucleate, Phase Transformation.

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Subjects: Chemistry Physics