Nonlinear features in the dielectric behavior of propylene glycol

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We investigate the nonlinear dielectric effects in a glass-forming polar liquid, propylene glycol, by high-voltage frequency-domain impedance experiments. The peak amplitudes of the sinusoidal electric fields are varied between 14 and 283 kV/cm. Two competing nonlinear effects are observed: a decrease of the dielectric constant reminiscent of the Langevin effect and an increase of the dielectric loss that originates from the irreversible transfer of energy from the electric field to the slow degrees of freedom of the viscous liquid. By virtue of the frequency dependence of the two features, the positive and negative changes are easily separable. Both effects can be rationalized quantitatively without adjustable parameters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number064302
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Feb 5 2007


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics

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