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Heterogeneous relaxation in supercooled liquids: A density functional theory analysis

Murarka, Rajesh K and Bagchi, Biman (2001) Heterogeneous relaxation in supercooled liquids: A density functional theory analysis. In: Journal of Chemical Physics, 115 (12). pp. 5513-5520.


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Recent time domain experiments which allow selective study of the relaxation of slower subpopulations among the distributions of local, inhomogeneous regions, have shown the existence of a length scale (~2–3 nm) beyond which the liquid behaves like a homogeneous liquid. Here we use the density functional theory to calculate the probability of creating a soft localized density fluctuation (density droplet). Theoretical calculation shows that the free energy penalty for creating a local inhomogeneity of small size is much less than that for a large size and that a dense supercooled system is unlikely to sustain inhomogeneity of a length,\iota f, which is larger than 5 \sigma, where \sigma is the molecular diameter. We have calculated both the equilibrium and the nonequilibrium (subsequent to photobleaching) orientational correlation functions with the theoretically obtained inhomogeneous distributions. The nonequilibrium distribution relaxes at a slower rate. A simple two state exchange model has been used to mimic the relaxation of the slow regions to equilibrium; the model shows that the diffusional exchange cannot be the mechanism for the extremely slow relaxation process very near to the glass transition temperature. These results have been compared with recent experimental results.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Journal of Chemical Physics
Publisher: American Institute of Physics
Additional Information: Copyright for this article belongs to American Institute of Physics (AIP).
Department/Centre: Division of Chemical Sciences > Solid State & Structural Chemistry Unit
Date Deposited: 16 Dec 2004
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 04:17
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/2484

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