Preferential nucleation during polymorphic transformations

Hemant Sharma, Jilt Sietsma, Erik Offerman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)
    35 Downloads (Pure)


    Polymorphism is the ability of a solid material to exist in more than one phase or crystal structure. Polymorphism may occur in metals, alloys, ceramics, minerals, polymers, and pharmaceutical substances. Unresolved are the conditions for preferential nucleation during polymorphic transformations in which structural relationships or special crystallographic orientation relationships (OR’s) form between the nucleus and surrounding matrix grains. We measured in-situ and simultaneously the nucleation rates of grains that have zero, one, two, three and four special OR’s with the surrounding parent grains. These experiments show a trend in which the activation energy for nucleation becomes smaller – and therefore nucleation more probable - with increasing number of special OR’s. These insights contribute to steering the processing of polymorphic materials with tailored properties, since preferential nucleation affects which crystal structure forms, the average grain size and texture of the material, and thereby - to a large extent - the final properties of the material.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number30860
    Pages (from-to)1-7
    JournalScientific Reports
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    • Metals and alloys
    • Pharmaceutics
    • Solid-state chemistry
    • Structural geology


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