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Supercooled Dynamics and Potential Energy Landscape of a Molecular Glass-Former

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1st Year PhD Talk

Relaxation times and transport processes of many glass-forming liquids exhibit super-Arrhenius temperature dependence in the supercooled regime. I will show that, for a coarse-grained model of ortho-terphenyl as well as for previously-studied atomic systems, this behaviour arises from increasingly negative correlations in particle displacements as the temperature is decreased. Particle movement in the supercooled regime is believed to separate into diffusive and non-diffusive rearrangements. Attempts to arrive at a microscopic definition of the former, termed “cage breaks” will be discussed. Finally, I will present a sampled view of the potential energy landscape (PEL) of ortho-terphenyl and use the cage breaking definition to identify a hierarchical structure in this landscape.

This talk is part of the Theoretical Chemistry Informal Seminars series.

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