The nucleation and growth properties of domains of molecules of the same state in open boundary three-dimensional (3D) spin-crossover systems of various shapes are discussed within the framework of the mechanoelastic model. The molecules are situated on face-centered-cubic lattices and are linked by springs through which they interact. Monte Carlo simulations imply that clusters nucleate from corners in the case of systems having well-developed faces and from kinks in the case of spherical samples, in accordance with available experimental data. In addition, a method to characterize the cooperativity in these systems is proposed, which by scanning the fluctuations in the 3D samples can be related directly to powder x-ray-diffraction experiments.
In this paper we study the cluster formation and evolution in spin crossover systems during the thermal transition in the frame of a mechano-elastic model applied to open boundary hexagonal lattices. The switching processes between the high-spin (HS) and low-spin (LS) state are studied by a method combining a Monte Carlo standard procedure on the spin state and the lattice relaxation. In the present study, we adopt the transition probabilities of the spin state taking into account the energy gap between the two states, the degeneracy ratio and the local pressure determined by the elongations of the closest springs. It is found that clusters of molecules in the same state tend to grow starting from corners, as in available experimental data. Some qualitative differences between the processes of cluster formation for the two hysteresis branches, i.e., HS to LS and LS to HS are pointed out. Moreover, we have studied the dependence of cluster formation on the strength of the elastic interactions, and also on the system size. The size dependence of the ratio between the system size and the maximum cluster length is very weak, which indicates the appearance of macroscopic domains.