This work aims to comprehensively study the anisotropy of the hexagonal close-packed (HCP)-liquid interface free energy using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations based on the modified-embedded atom method (MEAM). As a case study, all the simulations are performed for Magnesium (Mg). The solid-liquid coexisting approach is used to accurately calculate the melting point and melting properties. Then, the capillary fluctuation method (CFM) is used to determine the HCP-liquid interface free energy (γ) and anisotropy parameters. In CFM, a continuous order parameter is employed to accurately locate the HCP-liquid interface location, and the HCP symmetry-adapted spherical harmonics are used to expand γ in terms of its anisotropy parameters (ε20, ε40, ε60 and ε66). Eight slip and twinning planes (basal, two prismatic, two pyramidal, and three twinning planes) are considered as the HCP-liquid interface planes. An average HCP-liquid interface free energy of 122.2 (mJ/m2), non-zero ε20, ε40, and ε66 parameters, and approximately zero ε60 parameter for Mg are predicted. Using these findings, the first preferred dendrite growth direction in solidification of Mg is predicted as [1120], which is in agreement with experiments. Also, a second preferred dendrite growth direction for Mg is predicted as [3362].


Materials Science and Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Center for High Performance Computing Research

Keywords and Phrases

Anisotropy; Free energy; Harmonic analysis; Interfacial energy; Liquids; Magnesium; Molecular dynamics; Single crystals; Anisotropy parameters; Capillary fluctuation methods; Hexagonal close packed; Interface free energy; MEAM; Modified embedded atom methods; Molecular dynamics simulations; Spherical harmonics; Phase interfaces

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)


Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2016 Elsevier Ltd, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Apr 2016