The nucleation phenomenon in the structural transition between the bcc and hcp phase of solid 4He on the melting line was investigated. At the lower transition point Tc1 (1.457 K), the transition was triggered by a single new phase seed nucleated on the wall in contact with the superfluid and the seed grew up into the superfluid region. The nucleation of the new phase has nothing to do with the original solid. The situation is almost the same for the two cases of bcc to hcp (cooling) and hcp to bcc (warming) transitions, whereas at the higher transition temperature Tc2 (1.778 K), where the crystal coexisted with normal liquid, the new phase seeds were nucleated at many sites inside the original crystal and the crystal was cracked into many grains. This is strongly reminiscent of martensitic transition. The supercooling and superheating phenomena observed in those transitions were analyzed based on the standard homogeneous nucleation theory, though it is clear that those transitions are nucleated heterogeneously. The temperature width of supercooling is larger than that of superheating at Tc1, whereas it is larger for superheating at Tc2. That is, supercooling (and superheating) is more likely in the transition from bcc to hcp regardless of warming or cooling. The transition event rate, Σ=(N0-N)/N0, is well reproduced by the formula Σ=(N0-N)/N0=1-exp [-(δT/c)Γ0exp(-∆E/kT)]. The transition barrier ∆E is estimated by the fitting.
Physical Review B
- Pub Date:
- April 2002
- Solid helium and related quantum crystals;
- Boson degeneracy and superfluidity of <sup>4</sup>He;
- Theory and models of crystal growth;
- physics of crystal growth crystal morphology and orientation;