Ren, G (reprint author), Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Theoret Phys, State Key Lab Theoret Phys, 55 East Zhongguancun Rd,POB 2735, Beijing 100190, Peoples R China.
[Ren, Gan] Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Theoret Phys, State Key Lab Theoret Phys, Beijing 100190, Peoples R China
; Chinese Acad Sci, Kavli Inst Theoret Phys China, Beijing 100190, Peoples R China
Molecular dynamics simulations for aqueous sodium chloride solutions were carried out at various concentrations. Supplementary to the Debye-Huckel theory, reversible transient nucleation of ions was observed even in dilute solutions. The average size of formed ion clusters and the lifetime of ion pairs increases with concentration until the saturation point, when ion clusters become stable and individual ions adjust their positions to form ordered lattice structures, leading to irreversible ion crystallization, which is beyond the description of the classical nucleation theory. Copyright (C) EPLA, 2014