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Correlation between conductivity or diffusivity and activation energy in amorphous solids

Sharma, Manju and Yashonath, S (2008) Correlation between conductivity or diffusivity and activation energy in amorphous solids. In: Journal of Chemical Physics, 129 (14).

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There exist many investigations of ionic transport in a variety of glasses. These studies exhibit strong correlation between ionic conductivity and activation energy: Typically, it is found that higher conductivity is associated with lower activation energies and vice versa. Although there are explanations for this at a phenomenological level, there is no consistent physical picture to explain the correlation between conductivity and activation energy. We have carried out molecular dynamics simulation as a function of the size of the impurity atom or diffusant (both neutral and charged) in a host amorphous matrix. We find that there is a maximum in self-diffusivity as a function of the size of the impurity atom suggesting that there is an appropriate size for which the diffusivity is maximum. The activation energy is found to be the lowest for this size of the impurity. A similar maximum has been previously found in other condensed phases, such as confined fluids and dense liquids, and has its origin in the levitation effect. The implications of this result for understanding ionic conductivity in glasses are discussed. Our results suggest that there is a relation between microscopic structure of the amorphous solid, diffusivity or conductivity, and activation energy. The nature of this relationship is discussed in terms of the levitation parameter showing that diffusivity is maximum when the size of the neck or doorway radius is comparable with the size of the diffusant. Our computational results here are in excellent agreement with independent experimental results of Nascimento et al. [Braz. J. Phys. 35, 626 (2005)] that structural features of the glass are important in determining the ionic conductivity.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Journal of Chemical Physics
Publisher: American Institute of Physics
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to American Institute of Physics.
Department/Centre: Division of Chemical Sciences > Solid State & Structural Chemistry Unit
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2010 10:04
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2012 08:30
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/26082

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