Atomistic simulations of reactive wetting in metallic systems

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Atomistic simulations were performed to investigate high temperature wetting phenomena for metals. A sessile drop configuration was modeled for two systems: Ag(l) on Cu and Pb(l) on Cu. The former case is an eutectic binary and the wetting kinetics were greatly enhanced by the presence of aggressive interdiffusion between Ag and Cu. Wetting kinetics were directly dependent upon dissolution kinetics. The dissolution rate was nearly identical for Ag(l) on Cu(100) compared to Cu(111); as such, the spreading rate was very similar on both surfaces. Pb and Cu are bulk immiscible so spreading of Pb(l) on Cu occurred in the absence of significant substrate dissolution. For Pb(l) on Cu(111) a precursor wetting film of atomic thickness emerged from the partially wetting liquid drop and rapidly covered the surface. For Pb(l) on Cu(100), a foot was also observed to emerge from a partially wetting drop; however, spreading kinetics were dramatically slower for Pb(l) on Cu(100) than on Cu(111). For the former, a surface alloying reaction was observed to occur as the liquid wet the surface. The alloying reaction was associated with dramatically decreased wetting kinetics on Cu(100) versus Cu(111), where no alloying was observed. These two cases demonstrate markedly different atomistic mechanisms of wetting where, for Ag(l) on Cu, the dissolution reaction is associated with increased wetting kinetics while, for Pb(l) on Cu, the surface alloying reaction is associated with decreased wetting kinetics.

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