Abundance of nanoclusters in a molecular beam : the magic numbers for Lennard-Jones potential

K. Vafayi, K. Esfarjani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
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We review the theory behind abundance of experimentally observed nanoclusters produced in beams, aiming to understand their magic number behavior. It is shown how use of statistical physics, with certain assumptions, reduces the calculation of equilibrium abundance to that of partition functions of single clusters. Methods to practically calculate these partition functions are introduced. The formalism is general and potential independent, but is only applicable to equilibrium or close-to-equilibrium scenarios and the interactions for which the partition functions can be accurately calculated. As an illustration, we compute the abundance of Lennard-Jones clusters at low temperatures, which reveals their experimentally observed magic number behavior. This shows that purely energetic and thermodynamic reasons can cause the magic numbers. We then briefly review kinetic approach to the problem and comment on the interplay between chemical, mechanical and thermodynamic stability of the clusters in more generality. Keywords: Nanoclusters synthesis; Magic numbers; Nucleation
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-490
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Cluster Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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