Capillarity in Porous Media: Recent Advances and Challenges
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Fig. 17


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Illustrations of the thermodynamics of bubble nucleation where a fluctuation can grow from a critical radius rcrit onwards when the thermodynamic driving force for the phase separation ΔGV overcomes the energy penalty for forming an interface [61, 62] (A). As a consequence, the phase equilibrium defined by the respective equation of state represents only the equilibrium co-existence of pre-existing phases, while phase separation occurs when a single phase below that coexistence condition becomes unstable against nucleation or fluctuations by e.g. spinodal decomposition [66] (B).

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