Date of Award

Fall 2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Applied Science (MASc)


Materials Science and Engineering


Jeffrey J. Hoyt




The structural and thermodynamic properties of a crystal-melt interface in

elemental magnesium have been investigated using molecular dynamics (MD)

simulations with an embedded atom method description of the interatomic potential.

Three low index interfacial orientations, (0001), (1101) and (1120), have been studied.

From fine-grained atomic density profiles, the structural interfacial widths show obvious anisotropy and the variation of interatomic planar spacing as a function of distance through the crystal-melt boundary is established. Mainly from the coarse-grained density profiles, the effective 10-90 width of the interface region, defined as the intrinsic width, in each orientation has been determined. In addition, the interfacial stresses are obtained from an integration of the interfacial stress profiles and the results show significant anisotropy, which is possibly related to the anisotropy of occupation fraction profiles. Finally, from a determination of the excess energy and interfacial stress of the solid-liquid interface and from previous published results for the interfacial free energy at the melting point, the Gibbs-Cahn integration is employed to derive an estimation of the temperature dependence of the interfacial free energy at non-equilibrium temperatures. All of the crystal-melt interfacial properties for magnesium are compared with simulation data from other elemental metals and alloys, as well as from other model systems such as Lennard- Jones and hard spheres.

McMaster University Library

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