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In The journal of physical chemistry. B ; h5-index 0.0

Colloidal and nanoparticle systems display a rich and exciting phase behavior including the self-assembly of highly complex crystal structures. Nucleation and growth pathways toward crystallization have been studied both computationally and experimentally, but the mechanisms for the formation of the precritical nucleus and consequent crystal growth are yet to be fully understood. Recent advances in the application of machine learning algorithms applied to many-particle systems have led to significant breakthroughs in the ability for high-throughput analysis of phase transitions and the identification of crystal structures. We build upon these techniques to identify and analyze pathways for nucleation and growth in supercooled liquids of colloidal systems modeled with isotropic pair potentials. Our study involves the development of unsupervised machine learning models trained on spherical-harmonics-based descriptors. These models allow us to determine clusters of local environments that are present prior to and during crystallization. We analyze these environments to identify prevalent motifs and local order within the supercooled liquid prior to formation of the critical nucleus.

Adorf Carl S, Moore Timothy C, Melle Yannah J U, Glotzer Sharon C

2019-Dec-23