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Locally preferred structures and many-body static correlations in viscous liquids

By Daniele Coslovich

Abstract

We investigate the influence of static correlations beyond the pair level on the dynamics of selected model glass-formers. We compare the pair structure, angular distribution functions, and statistics of Voronoi polyhedra of two well-known Lennard-Jones mixtures as well as of the corresponding Weeks-Chandler-Andersen variants, in which the attractive part of the potential is truncated. By means of the Voronoi construction we identify the atomic arrangements corresponding to the locally preferred structures of the models. We find that the growth of domains formed by interconnected locally preferred structures signals the onset of the slow dynamics regime and allows to rationalize the different dynamic behaviors of the models. At low temperature, the spatial extension of the structurally correlated domains, evaluated at fixed relaxation time, increases with the fragility of the models and is systematically reduced by truncating the attractions. In view of these results, proper inclusion of many-body static correlations in theories of the glass transition appears crucial for the description of the dynamics of fragile glass-formers.Comment: 9 pages, 8 figures, added two tables, minor revisions to the tex

Topics: Condensed Matter - Statistical Mechanics
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1103/PhysRevE.83.051505
OAI identifier: oai:arXiv.org:1102.5663
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