A polyamorphous fragile to strong transition under equilibrium cooling in a simple monatomic liquid
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Glass transition remains one of the deepest and most interesting problems of condensed-matter physics. One fundamental aspect of the problem is how to avoid crystalline nucleation when cooling a liquid towards the glass transition at an arbitrarily slow rate. The prototype ``ideal glass formers'' are silica and other inorganic network-forming systems. No monatomic glass has been obtained so far by cooling from melt. Whether a monatomic system can reproduce the behavior of silica-like glass formers is a question of great interest, both conceptual and for technological applications. We present a molecular-dynamics simulation of a simple monatomic system based on a metallic-like pair potential. We demonstrate that, while remaining stable with respect to crystallization, the system performs under cooling a first order phase transition from a fragile to an extremely strong liquid state. The low-temperature liquid phase can be cooled to a state of very high viscosity and low diffusivity while remaining in equilibrium. This result may provide a significant insight into the formation mechanisms of metallic glasses.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-29018OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-29018DiVA: diva2:228578