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Title: Fluctuating micro-heterogeneity in water–tert-butyl alcohol mixtures and lambda-type divergence of the mean cluster size with phase transition-like multiple anomalies

Water–tert-butyl alcohol (TBA) binary mixture exhibits a large number of thermodynamic and dynamic anomalies. These anomalies are observed at surprisingly low TBA mole fraction, with x{sub TBA} ≈ 0.03–0.07. We demonstrate here that the origin of the anomalies lies in the local structural changes that occur due to self-aggregation of TBA molecules. We observe a percolation transition of the TBA molecules at x{sub TBA} ≈ 0.05. We note that “islands” of TBA clusters form even below this mole fraction, while a large spanning cluster emerges above that mole fraction. At this percolation threshold, we observe a lambda-type divergence in the fluctuation of the size of the largest TBA cluster, reminiscent of a critical point. Alongside, the structure of water is also perturbed, albeit weakly, by the aggregation of TBA molecules. There is a monotonic decrease in the tetrahedral order parameter of water, while the dipole moment correlation shows a weak nonlinearity. Interestingly, water molecules themselves exhibit a reverse percolation transition at higher TBA concentration, x{sub TBA} ≈ 0.45, where large spanning water clusters now break-up into small clusters. This is accompanied by significant divergence of the fluctuations in the size of largest water cluster. This second transition gives rise tomore » another set of anomalies around. Both the percolation transitions can be regarded as manifestations of Janus effect at small molecular level.« less
Authors:
; ;  [1]
  1. SSCU, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560012 (India)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22254873
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Chemical Physics; Journal Volume: 140; Journal Issue: 19; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; BINARY MIXTURES; BUTANOLS; DIPOLE MOMENTS; FLUCTUATIONS; MOLECULES; ORDER PARAMETERS; PHASE TRANSFORMATIONS; WATER