Oxidation of nanocrystalline aluminum by variable charge molecular dynamics
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We investigate the oxidation of nanocrystalline aluminum surfaces using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations with the variable charge model that allows charge dynamically transfer among atoms. The interaction potential between atoms is described by the electrostatic plus (Es+) potential model, which is composed of an embedded atom method potential and an electrostatic term. The simulations were performed from 300 to 750 K on polycrystalline samples with a mean grain size of 5 nanometers. We mainly focused on the effect of the temperature parameter on the oxidation kinetic. The results show that, beyond a first linear regime, the kinetics follows a direct logarithmic law (governed by diffusion process) and tends to a limiting value corresponding to a thickness of similar to 3 nm. We also characterized at 600 K the effects of an external applied strain on the microstructure and the chemical composition of oxide films formed at the surface. In particular, we obtained a partially crystalline oxide films for all temperatures and we noticed a strong correlation between the degree of crystallinity of the oxide film and the oxidation temperature. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.