For glycerol and three monohydroxy alcohols, we have measured the non-linear dielectric effects resulting from the application and removal of a high dc bias electric field. The field effects are detected by virtue of a small amplitude harmonic field, from which time resolved changes in the dielectric loss are derived. The changes in permittivity are dominated by modifications of the time constants (rather than amplitudes) which display two contributions: a heating-like decrease of relaxation times that originates from the time dependent field when the bias is switched on and off and a slowing down of the dynamics resulting from the field induced reduction of configurational entropy. As observed for the electro-optical Kerr effect, the rise of the entropy change is slower than its decay, a feature that we rationalize on the basis of the quadratic dependence of the entropy change on polarization. For glycerol, the observed steady state level of the field induced shift of the glass transition temperature (+84 mK) matches the expectation based on the entropy change and its impact on dynamics via the Adam-Gibbs relation (+88 mK). For the alcohols, these non-linear effects rise and decay on the time scales of the prominent dielectric Debye process, underscoring the relation of these features to polarization anisotropy, opposed to mechanical or enthalpy relaxation which are orders of magnitude faster in these systems. A model is discussed which captures the observed magnitudes as well as time dependences in a near quantitative fashion. It is demonstrated that the high bias field modifies the response of polarization to the ac field, including a temporary change in the low field susceptibility.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry