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  • Author or Editor: H. Fretwell x
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Abstract  

In this paper we present our recent positron annihilation study of the liquid»solid phase boundary for CO2 confined in nanometer pores of VYCOR glass. We find that CO2 remains liquid in the pores far below the bulk freezing temperature and there is pronounced hysteresis between freezing and melting compared to that seen at the gas-liquid boundary in the pores. On freezing we see evidence of open space created in the pores. This leads to complex melting behaviour possibly involving the formation of gas-liquid interfaces. We see that frezing in the pores is totally irreversible, so that any solid which forms (no matter how small) remains stable up to the higher melting temperature. In contrast melting is more reversible (possibly indicating nucleation centres which permit immediate re-freezing). Finally, the pre-frozen state in the pores is different to the post-melted state.

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Abstract  

In this paper we present a brief review of the current state of positron annihilation research into the phase behaviour of fluids confined within restricted boundaries. We summarise, in the form of selected examples, the work done so far on: (1) fluids confined in the nanometer-size pores of VYCOR glass, with particular emphasis on the confined phase diagram and the mechanisms behind phase transitions compared to bulk. (2) The adsorption/physisorption of gases on internal surfaces of grafoil and the potential of positron technique for revealing physical properties, such as the intricate molecular arrangements during phase transitions of the layered fluid.

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Abstract  

Positron lifetime spectroscopy has been applied to estimate the free-volume hole size distribution in glassy polycarbonate (PC) and polystyrene (PS) as well as in plastically deformed and undeformed, semi-crystalline polyethylene (HDPE). The hole radius density distribution is determined from the ortho-positronium lifetime distribution which is obtained via a Laplace-inversion of the positron lifetime spectrum. The hole volume density distribution and the number density distribution of holes is estimated from the hole radius density distribution. In PC and in PS all of the distributions may be well approximated by a single Gaussian. The hole radius and the hole number density distributions have centres <r> and <v n> at 0.29 nm and 0.1 nm3 in PC, and at 0.28 nm and 0.09 nm3 in PS. The FWHM of the corresponding distributions are 0.042 nm and 0.040 nm3 (PC), and 0.039 nm and 0.34 nm3 (PS), respectively. Both, the shape and the width of the distributions correlate well with the free volume theory of BUECHE. In PE the lifetime spectra consist of four components. The o-Ps lifetime distribution is bimodal and may be attributed to o-Ps annihilation in the crystalline and in the amorphous phase of the polymer. The corresponding hole size distributions show definite changes of their position and width following plastic deformation which we attribute to homogeneous crystal lattice dilatation and/or a local disorder in the crystals and to an increase in the eccentricity of holes in the amorphous phase.

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Abstract  

In confined (nanometer-scale) geometry, the effects of substrate forces and finite size produce a shift of the gas liquid phase boundary from that found in corresponding bulk. The pore transitions also show marked hysteresis. The phase behaviour of a binary gas mixture in confined geometry is likely to depend on the miscibility of the system and the interaction between the substrate and the individual fluid molecules/atoms. Here, we present the results of a pilot positronium annihilation study of the condensation and evaporation of argon-nitrogen mixtures confined in 4 nm diameter cylindrical pores in VYCOR glass.

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Abstract  

The phase behaviour of carbon dioxide confined in VYCOR glass at pressures below that of the bulk triple point (0.51 MPa) has been investigated. The temperature at which freezing occurs appears to be pressure dependent below 0.3 MPa. As experiments are performed at successively lower pressures, the confined phase transitions gradually disappear, due to either partial pore filling, or the proximity of the confined triple point.

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