Dynamics of glass-forming liquids. IX. Structural versus dielectric relaxation in monohydroxy alcohols

Li Min Wang, Ranko Richert

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104 Scopus citations


The prominent Debye-type but non-Arrhenius dielectric relaxation is a feature common to many monohydroxy alcohols in their liquid state. Although this exponential process is often considered to reflect the primary structural relaxation, only a faster, smaller, and nonexponential relaxation peak correlates with viscous flow and mechanical relaxation. We provide dielectric relaxation data for 2-methyl-l-butanol, 2-ethyl-l-hexanol, and 3,7-dimethyl-l-octanol across ten decades in time. Based on these and previous results, we show that there exists a variety of dielectric to mechanical relaxation time ratios in the viscous regime, but a universal value of 100 for that ratio appears to evolve in the high temperature limit. The temperature dependence for both the relaxation time and strength of the Debye peak differs from the typical behavior of structural dynamics in terms of the α process. The implications of these findings for rationalizing the Debye-type dielectric process of hydrogen-bonded liquids are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7
Pages (from-to)11170-11176
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number22
StatePublished - Dec 8 2004


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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