Glass transition with decreasing correlation length during cooling of Fe 50 Co 50 superlattice and strong liquids

Shuai Wei, Isabella Gallino, Ralf Busch, Charles Angell

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39 Scopus citations


The glass transition is usually understood as a structural arrest that occurs during the cooling of liquids, trapping the system before it can crystallize. It occurs for all liquid classes, including metals. Theoretical interest has focused on the dynamical heterogeneity encountered during supercooling of ĝ€ fragileĝ€™ liquids. Many suggest that the slow-down is caused by increasing dynamical correlation lengths. Here we report kinetics and thermodynamics of arrest in a system that disorders while in its ground state, exhibits a large heat capacity change Î δC p =C p ,mobileĝ̂'C p ,arrested) on arrest, yet clearly is characterized by a static correlation length that decreases when approaching the transition temperature T g from above. We show that our system, the Fe 50 Co 50 superlattice, kinetically mimics an ideal strongĝ€™ liquid with a critical point. Introducing liquid critical-point simulations, we can then argue that strong liquids differ from fragile liquids by occupying opposite flanks of an underlying orderĝ€"disorder transition, which can be continuous, critical or weakly first order.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)178-182
Number of pages5
JournalNature Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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