Soft glassy rheology of supercooled molecular liquids.
ABSTRACT: We probe the mechanical response of two supercooled liquids, glycerol and ortho-terphenyl, by conducting rheological experiments at very weak stresses. We find a complex fluid behavior suggesting the gradual emergence of an extended, delicate solid-like network in both materials in the supercooled state-i.e., above the glass transition. This network stiffens as it ages, and very early in this process it already extends over macroscopic distances, conferring all well known features of soft glassy rheology (yield-stress, shear thinning, aging) to the supercooled liquids. Such viscoelastic behavior of supercooled molecular glass formers is difficult to observe because the large stresses in conventional rheology can easily shear-melt the solid-like structure. The work presented here, combined with evidence for long-lived heterogeneity from previous single-molecule studies [Zondervan R, Kulzer F, Berkhout GCG, Orrit M (2007) Local viscosity of supercooled glycerol near T(g) probed by rotational diffusion of ensembles and single dye molecules. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 104:12628-12633], has a profound impact on the understanding of the glass transition because it casts doubt on the widely accepted assumption of the preservation of ergodicity in the supercooled state.
Project description:In recent years it has become widely accepted that a dynamical length scale ?(?) plays an important role in supercooled liquids near the glass transition. We examine the implications of the interplay between the growing ?(?) and the size of the crystal nucleus, ?(M), which shrinks on cooling. We argue that at low temperatures where ?(?) > ?(M) a new crystallization mechanism emerges, enabling rapid development of a large scale web of sparsely connected crystallinity. Though we predict this web percolates the system at too low a temperature to be easily seen in the laboratory, there are noticeable residual effects near the glass transition that can account for several previously observed unexplained phenomena of deeply supercooled liquids including Fischer clusters and anomalous crystal growth near T(g).
Project description:Thermodynamics drive crystalline organic molecules to be crystallized at temperatures below their melting point. Even though molecules can form supercooled liquids by rapid cooling, crystalline organic materials readily undergo a phase transformation to an energetically favorable crystalline phase upon subsequent heat treatment. Opposite to this general observation, here, we report molecular design of thermally stable supercooled liquid of diketopyrrolopyrrole (DPP) derivatives and their intriguing shear-triggered crystallization with dramatic optical property changes. Molten DPP8, one of the DPP derivatives, remains as stable supercooled liquid without crystallization through subsequent thermal cycles. More interestingly, under shear conditions, this supercooled liquid DPP8 transforms to its crystal phase accompanied by a 25-fold increase in photoluminescence (PL) quantum efficiency and a color change. By systematic investigation on supercooled liquid formation of crystalline DPP derivatives and their correlation with chemical structures, we reveal that the origin of this thermally stable supercooled liquid is a subtle force balance between aromatic interactions among the core units and van der Waals interactions among the aliphatic side chains acting in opposite directions. Moreover, by applying shear force to a supercooled liquid DPP8 film at different temperatures, we demonstrated direct writing of fluorescent patterns and propagating fluorescence amplification, respectively. Shear-triggered crystallization of DPP8 is further achieved even by living cell attachment and spreading, demonstrating the high sensitivity of the shear-triggered crystallization which is about 6 orders of magnitude more sensitive than typical mechanochromism observed in organic materials.
Project description:Through high-energy x-ray diffraction and atomic pair density function analysis we find that Zr-based metallic alloy, heated to the supercooled liquid state under hydrostatic pressure and then quenched to room temperature, exhibits a distinct glassy structure. The PDF indicates that the Zr-Zr distances in this glass are significantly reduced compared to those quenched without pressure. Annealing at the glass transition temperature at ambient pressure reverses structural changes and the initial glassy state is recovered. This result suggests that pressure causes a liquid-to-liquid phase transition in this metallic alloy supercooled melt. Such a pressure induced transition is known for covalent liquids, but has not been observed for metallic liquids. The High Pressure Quenched glasses are stable in ambient conditions after decompression.
Project description:An anomaly in differential scanning calorimetry has been reported in a number of metallic glass materials in which a broad exothermal peak was observed between the glass and crystallization temperatures. The mystery surrounding this calorimetric anomaly is epitomized by four decades long studies of Pd-Ni-P metallic glasses, arguably the best glass-forming alloys. Here we show, using a suite of in situ experimental techniques, that Pd-Ni-P alloys have a hidden amorphous phase in the supercooled liquid region. The anomalous exothermal peak is the consequence of a polyamorphous phase transition between two supercooled liquids, involving a change in the packing of atomic clusters over medium-range length scales as large as 18?Å. With further temperature increase, the alloy reenters the supercooled liquid phase, which forms the room-temperature glass phase on quenching. The outcome of this study raises a possibility to manipulate the structure and hence the stability of metallic glasses through heat treatment.
Project description:The origin of dramatic slowing down of dynamics in metallic glass-forming liquids toward their glass transition temperatures is a fundamental but unresolved issue. Through extensive molecular dynamics simulations, here we show that, contrary to the previous beliefs, it is not local geometrical orderings extracted from instantaneous configurations but the intrinsic correlation between configurations that captures the structural origin governing slow dynamics. More significantly, it is demonstrated by scaling analyses that it is the correlation length extracted from configuration correlation rather than dynamic correlation lengths that is the key to determine the drastic slowdown of supercooled metallic liquids. The key role of the configuration correlation established here sheds important light on the structural origin of the mysterious glass transition and provides an essential piece of the puzzle for the development of a universal theoretical understanding of glass transition in glasses.
Project description:We perform extensive molecular dynamics simulations of the TIP4P/2005 model of water to investigate the origin of the Boson peak reported in experiments on supercooled water in nanoconfined pores, and in hydration water around proteins. We find that the onset of the Boson peak in supercooled bulk water coincides with the crossover to a predominantly low-density-like liquid below the Widom line TW. The frequency and onset temperature of the Boson peak in our simulations of bulk water agree well with the results from experiments on nanoconfined water. Our results suggest that the Boson peak in water is not an exclusive effect of confinement. We further find that, similar to other glass-forming liquids, the vibrational modes corresponding to the Boson peak are spatially extended and are related to transverse phonons found in the parent crystal, here ice Ih.
Project description:Supercooled liquids are characterized by their fragility: The slowing down of the dynamics under cooling is more sudden and the jump of specific heat at the glass transition is generally larger in fragile liquids than in strong ones. Despite the importance of this quantity in classifying liquids, explaining what aspects of the microscopic structure controls fragility remains a challenge. Surprisingly, experiments indicate that the linear elasticity of the glass--a purely local property of the free energy landscape--is a good predictor of fragility. In particular, materials presenting a large excess of soft elastic modes, the so-called boson peak, are strong. This is also the case for network liquids near the rigidity percolation, known to affect elasticity. Here we introduce a model of the glass transition based on the assumption that particles can organize locally into distinct configurations that are coupled spatially via elasticity. The model captures the mentioned observations connecting elasticity and fragility. We find that materials presenting an abundance of soft elastic modes have little elastic frustration: Energy is insensitive to most directions in phase space, leading to a small jump of specific heat. In this framework strong liquids turn out to lie the closest to a critical point associated with a rigidity or jamming transition, and their thermodynamic properties are related to the problem of number partitioning and to Hopfield nets in the limit of small memory.
Project description:The concept of dynamic heterogeneity and the picture of the supercooled liquid as a mosaic of environments with distinct dynamics that interchange in time have been invoked to explain the nonexponential relaxations measured in these systems. The spatial extent and temporal persistence of these regions of distinct dynamics have remained challenging to identify. Here, single-molecule fluorescence measurements using a probe similar in size and mobility to the host o-terphenyl unambiguously reveal exponential relaxations distributed in time and space and directly demonstrate ergodicity of the system down to the glass transition temperature. In the temperature range probed, at least 200 times the structural relaxation time of the host is required to recover ensemble-averaged relaxation at every spatial region in the system.
Project description:A "supercooled" liquid develops when a fluid does not crystallize upon cooling below its ordering temperature. Instead, the microscopic relaxation times diverge so rapidly that, upon further cooling, equilibration eventually becomes impossible and glass formation occurs. Classic supercooled liquids exhibit specific identifiers including microscopic relaxation times diverging on a Vogel-Tammann-Fulcher (VTF) trajectory, a Havriliak-Negami (HN) form for the dielectric function ε(ω, T), and a general Kohlrausch-Williams-Watts (KWW) form for time-domain relaxation. Recently, the pyrochlore Dy2Ti2O7 has become of interest because its frustrated magnetic interactions may, in theory, lead to highly exotic magnetic fluids. However, its true magnetic state at low temperatures has proven very difficult to identify unambiguously. Here, we introduce high precision, boundary-free magnetization transport techniques based upon toroidal geometries and gain an improved understanding of the time- and frequency-dependent magnetization dynamics of Dy2Ti2O7. We demonstrate a virtually universal HN form for the magnetic susceptibility χ (ω, T), a general KWW form for the realtime magnetic relaxation, and a divergence of the microscopic magnetic relaxation rates with the VTF trajectory. Low-temperature Dy2Ti2O7 therefore exhibits the characteristics of a supercooled magnetic liquid. One implication is that this translationally invariant lattice of strongly correlated spins may be evolving toward an unprecedented magnetic glass state, perhaps due to many-body localization of spin.
Project description:Below the melting temperature Tm, crystals are the stable phase of typical elemental or molecular systems. However, cooling down a liquid below Tm, crystallization is anything but inevitable. The liquid can be supercooled, eventually forming a glass below the glass transition temperature Tg. Despite their long lifetimes and the presence of strong barriers that produces an apparent stability, supercooled liquids and glasses remain intrinsically a metastable state and thermodynamically unstable towards the crystal. Here we investigated the isothermal crystallization kinetics of the prototypical strong glassformer GeO2 in the deep supercooled liquid at 1100?K, about half-way between Tm and Tg. The crystallization process has been observed through time-resolved neutron diffraction for about three days. Data show a continuous reorganization of the amorphous structure towards the alpha-quartz phase with the final material composed by crystalline domains plunged into a low-density, residual amorphous matrix. A quantitative analysis of the diffraction patterns allows determining the time evolution of the relative fractions of crystal and amorphous, that was interpreted through an empirical model for the crystallization kinetics. This approach provides a very good description of the experimental data and identifies a predator-prey-like mechanism between crystal and amorphous, where the density variation acts as a blocking barrier.