Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2020

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



Nucleation—or the formation of some cluster in a medium undergoing a phase transition—is usually the initial step in a phase transition. However, this process is still not fully understood, as outstanding questions related to the role of structure, local order, and diffusion remain unanswered. Systematic supercooling studies on metallic liquids performed using electrostatic and electromagnetic (ESL and EML, respectively) will be presented and discussed within the context of several nucleation theories, such as the Classical Nucleation Theory, Diffuse Interface Theory, and Coupled-Flux theory. To study the role of diffusion on nucleation, studies on the International Space Station using the on-board EML were performed. Initial results suggest that diffusion becomes an important factor for nucleation in quiescent liquids, as predicted by the Coupled-Flux theory. Initial results on several metallic liquids (Ti-Zr-Ni, Zr-Pt, Zr-Pd, Cu-Zr) using groundbased ESL techniques suggest that the local order in the liquid, structure of the nucleating phase, and number of phases formed are important factors to consider to understand nucleation.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Kenneth F. Kelton

Committee Members

Katharine Flores, Erik Henriksen, Zohar Nussinov, Li Yang,