Thermodynamic determination of fragility in liquids and a fragile-to- strong liquid transition in water

Kaori Ito, Cornelius T. Moynihan, Charles Angell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

314 Scopus citations


If crystallization can he avoided when a liquid is cooled, it will typically form a glass. Near the glass transition temperature the viscosity increases continuously but rapidly with cooling. As the glass forms, the molecular relaxation time increases with an Arrhenius-like (simple activated) form in some liquids, but shows highly non-Arrhenius behaviour in others. The former are said to be 'strong' liquids, and the latter 'fragile'. Here we show that the fragility of a liquid can be determined from purely thermodynamic data (as opposed to measurements of kinetics) near and below the melting point. We find that for most liquids the fragilities estimated this way are consistent with those obtained by previous methods and by a new method (ref. 3 and K.I., C.A.A. and C.T.M., unpublished data) at temperatures near the glass transition. But water is an exception. The thermodynamic method indicates that near its melting point it is the most fragile of all liquids studied, whereas the kinetic approach indicates that near the glass transition it is the least fragile. We propose that this discrepancy can be explained by a fragile-to-strong transition in supercooled water near 228 K, corresponding to a change in the liquid's structure at this point.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)492-495
Number of pages4
Issue number6727
StatePublished - Apr 8 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


Dive into the research topics of 'Thermodynamic determination of fragility in liquids and a fragile-to- strong liquid transition in water'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this