252 research outputs found

    Dynamical heterogeneities in a two dimensional driven glassy model: current fluctuations and finite size effects

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    In this article, we demonstrate that in a transport model of particles with kinetic constraints, long-lived spatial structures are responsible for the blocking dynamics and the decrease of the current at strong driving field. Coexistence between mobile and blocked regions can be anticipated by a first-order transition in the large deviation function for the current. By a study of the system under confinement, we are able to study finite-size effects and extract a typical length between mobile regions

    Non-Equilibrium Phase Transition in an Atomistic Glassformer: the Connection to Thermodynamics

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    Tackling the low-temperature fate of supercooled liquids is challenging due to the immense timescales involved, which prevent equilibration and lead to the operational glass transition. Relating glassy behaviour to an underlying, thermodynamic phase transition is a long-standing open question in condensed matter physics. Like experiments, computer simulations are limited by the small time window over which a liquid can be equilibrated. Here we address the challenge of low temperature equilibration using trajectory sampling in a system undergoing a nonequilibrium phase transition. This transition occurs in trajectory space between the normal supercooled liquid and a glassy state rich in low-energy geometric motifs. Our results indicate that this transition might become accessible in equilibrium configurational space at a temperature close to the so-called Kauzmann temperature, and provide a possible route to unify dynamical and thermodynamical theories of the glass transition.Comment: accepted in Physical. Rev.

    From glass formation to icosahedral ordering by curving three-dimensional space

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    Geometric frustration describes the inability of a local molecular arrangement, such as icosahedra found in metallic glasses and in model atomic glass-formers, to tile space. Local icosahedral order however is strongly frustrated in Euclidean space, which obscures any causal relationship with the observed dynamical slowdown. Here we relieve frustration in a model glass-forming liquid by curving 3-dimensional space onto the surface of a 4-dimensional hypersphere. For sufficient curvature, frustration vanishes and the liquid freezes in a fully icosahedral structure via a sharp `transition'. Frustration increases upon reducing the curvature, and the transition to the icosahedral state smoothens while glassy dynamics emerges. Decreasing the curvature leads to decoupling between dynamical and structural length scales and the decrease of kinetic fragility. This sheds light on the observed glass-forming behavior in the Euclidean space.Comment: 5 pages + supplementary materia

    Devitrification of the Kob-Andersen glass former: Competition with the locally favored structure

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    Supercooled liquids are kinetically trapped materials in which the transition to a thermodynamically more stable state with long-range order is strongly suppressed. To assess the glass-forming abilities of a liquid empirical rules exist, but a comprehensive microscopic picture of devitrification is still missing. Here we study the crystallization of a popular model glass former, the binary Kob-Andersen mixture, in small systems. We perform trajectory sampling employing the population of the locally favored structure as order parameter. While for large population a dynamical phase transition has been reported, here we show that biasing towards a small population of locally favored structures induces crystallization, and we estimate the free energy difference. This result sheds new light on the competition between local and global structure in glass-forming liquids and its implications for crystallization

    Crystal growth from a supersaturated melt: relaxation of the solid-liquid dynamic stiffness

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    We discuss the growth process of a crystalline phase out of a metastable over-compressed liquid that is brought into contact with a crystalline substrate. The process is modeled by means of molecular dynamics. The particles interact via the Lennard-Jones potential and their motion is locally thermalized by Langevin dynamics. We characterize the relaxation process of the solid-liquid interface, showing that the growth speed is maximal for liquid densities above the solid coexistence density, and that the structural properties of the interface rapidly converge to equilibrium-like properties. In particular, we show that the off-equilibrium dynamic stiffness can be extracted using capillary wave theory arguments, even if the growth front moves fast compared to the typical diffusion time of the compressed liquid, and that the dynamic stiffness converges to the equilibrium stiffness in times much shorter than the diffusion time

    Solid phase properties and crystallization in simple model systems

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    We review theoretical and simulational approaches to the description of equilibrium bulk crystal and interface properties as well as to the nonequilibrium processes of homogeneous and heterogeneous crystal nucleation for the simple model systems of hard spheres and Lennard-Jones particles. For the equilibrium properties of bulk and interfaces, density functional theories employing fundamental measure functionals prove to be a precise and versatile tool, as exemplified with a closer analysis of the hard sphere crystalliquid interface. A detailed understanding of the dynamic process of nucleation in these model systems nevertheless still relies on simulational approaches. We review bulk nucleation and nucleation at structured walls and examine in closer detail the influence of walls with variable strength on nucleation in the Lennard-Jones fluid. We find that a planar crystalline substrate induces the growth of a crystalline film for a large range of lattice spacings and interaction potentials. Only a strongly incommensurate substrate and a very weakly attractive substrate potential lead to crystal growth with a non-zero contact angle
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