Understanding the problem of glass transition on the basis of elastic waves in a liquid

Trachenko, K. and Brazhkin, V. V. (2009) Understanding the problem of glass transition on the basis of elastic waves in a liquid. Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, 21 (42). p. 425104. DOI 10.1088/0953-8984/21/42/425104

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Abstract

We propose that the properties of a glass transition can be understood on the basis of elastic waves. Elastic waves originating from atomic jumps in a liquid propagate local expansion due to the anharmonicity of the interatomic potential. This creates dynamic compressive stress, which increases the activation barrier for other events in a liquid. The non-trivial point is that the range of propagation of high-frequency elastic waves, del, increases with liquid relaxation time t. A self-consistent calculation shows that this increase gives the Vogel-Fulcher-Tammann (VFT) law. In the proposed theory, we discuss the origin of two dynamic crossovers in a liquid: (1) the crossover from exponential to non-exponential and from Arrhenius to VFT relaxation at high temperature and (2) the crossover from the VFT to a more Arrhenius-like relaxation at low temperature. The corresponding values of t at the two crossovers are in quantitative parameter-free agreement with experiments. The origin of the second crossover allows us to reconcile the ongoing controversy surrounding the possible divergence of t. The crossover to Arrhenius relaxation universally takes place when del reaches system size, thus avoiding divergence and associated theoretical complications such as identifying the nature of the phase transition and the second phase itself. Finally, we discuss the effect of volume on t and the origin of liquid fragility.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 09AREP; IA59;
Subjects: 03 - Mineral Sciences
Divisions: 03 - Mineral Sciences
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter
Volume: 21
Page Range: p. 425104
Identification Number: 10.1088/0953-8984/21/42/425104
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2009 12:01
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2013 09:56
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/1225

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