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New techniques for simulating crystals

Sweatman, M.B. (2009) New techniques for simulating crystals. Molecular Simulation, 35 (10-11). pp. 897-909.

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Methods for simulating solid crystalline phases are generally not as straightforward as those for fluids. This work discusses the reason for this and reviews some recently developed Monte-Carlo techniques for simulating crystalline phases. The self-referential (SR) method for calculating crystal free energies is described first. This technique is particularly straightforward and it is expected to be very versatile. Next, a novel kind of Gibbs ensemble method adapted to treat crystalline solid-fluid coexistence is described. This technique requires free energy calculations of the crystalline phase as input, and of course, these can be provided by the SR method.