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Modeling Solid-State Precipitation by Ernst Kozeschnik

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Chapter 2

Precipitate Nucleation

The life cycle of a precipitate begins with the nucleation process. Nucleation is the initial, the “creation” step in precipitate life, comprising the time span starting with either a random or equilibrium solid solution to the time when the precipitate has developed to a stable or “critical” size, from where on its further evolution is governed by the (deterministic) laws of precipitate growth.

The process of precipitate nucleation resembles, in several aspects, the biological process of “creation” of a living being.1 A major similarity is from the observation that nucleation is a process that is inherently related to the term probability. One can never say whether a single nucleation event will occur exactly ...

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