If liquids, polymers, bio-materials, metals and molten salts can avoid crystallization during cooling or compression, they freeze into a microscopically disordered solid-like state, a glass(1,2). On approaching the glass transition, particles become trapped in transient cages-in which they rattle on picosecond timescales-formed by their nearest neighbours; the particles spend increasing amounts of time in their cages as the average escape time, or structural relaxation time tau(alpha), increases from a few picoseconds to thousands of seconds through the transition. Owing to the huge difference between relaxation and vibrational timescales, theoretical(3-9) studies addressing the underlying rattling process have challenged our understanding of the structural relaxation. Numerical(10-13) and experimental studies on liquids(14) and glasses(8,15-19) support the theories, but not without controversies(20) (for a review see ref. 21). Here we show computer simulations that, when compared with experiments, reveal the universal correlation of the structural relaxation time (as well as the viscosity eta) and the rattling amplitude from glassy to low-viscosity states. According to the emerging picture the glass softens when the rattling amplitude exceeds a critical value, in agreement with the Lindemann criterion for the melting of crystalline solids(22) and the free-volume model(23).
|Autori:||Larini L; Ottochian A; De Michele C; Leporini D|
|Titolo:||Universal scaling between structural relaxation and vibrational dynamics in glass-forming liquids and polymers|
|Anno del prodotto:||2008|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1038/nphys788|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|