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Title: Dielectric and specific heat relaxations in vapor deposited glycerol

Recently [S. Capponi, S. Napolitano, and M. Wübbenhorst, Nat. Commun. 3, 1233 (2012)], vapor deposited glasses of glycerol have been found to recover their super-cooled liquid state via a metastable, ordered liquid (MROL) state characterized by a tremendously enhanced dielectric strength along with a slow-down of the relaxation rate of the structural relaxation. To study the calorimetric signature of this phenomenon, we have implemented a chip-based, differential AC calorimeter in an organic molecular beam deposition setup, which allows the simultaneous measurement of dielectric relaxations via interdigitated comb electrodes and specific heat relaxation spectra during deposition and as function of the temperature. Heating of the as-deposited glass just above the bulk T{sub g} and subsequent cooling/reheating revealed a step-wise increase in c{sub p} by in total 9%, indicating unambiguously that glycerol, through slow vapour deposition, forms a thermodynamically stable glass, which has a specific heat as low as that of crystalline glycerol. Moreover, these glasses were found to show excellent kinetic stability as well as evidenced by both a high onset-temperature and quasi-isothermal recovery measurements at −75 °C. The second goal of the study was to elucidate the impact of the MROL state on the specific heat and its relaxation to themore » super-cooled state. Conversion of “MROL glycerol” to its “normal” (ordinary liquid, OL) state revealed a second, small (∼2%) increase of the glassy c{sub p}, a little gain (<10%) in the relaxed specific heat, and no signs of deviations of τ{sub cal} from that of normal “bulk” glycerol. These findings altogether suggest that the MROL state in glycerol comprises largely bulk-type glycerol that coexist with a minor volume fraction (<10%) of PVD-induced structural anomalies with a crystal-like calorimetric signature. Based on the new calorimetric findings, we have proposed a new physical picture that assumes the existence of rigid polar clusters (RPCs) and conclusively explains the extraordinary high kinetic stability of the MROL state, its specific calorimetric signature, the enhanced strength, and apparent slow-down of the dielectric α-relaxation. In this new picture, the incredibly slow and strengthened dielectric response is ascribed to driven rotational diffusion of whole RPCs, a mechanism that perfectly couples to the relaxation time of the “normal” glycerol fraction. First considerations based on the strength and the retardation of the dielectric RPCs’ response yield independently a size estimate for the RPCs in the order of 4-5 nm. Finally, we have discussed possible crystallisation and reorganisation effects, which give rise to pronounced out-of phase components of the specific heat at higher temperatures.« less
Authors:
; ;  [1]
  1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, Soft Matter and Biophysics Section, KU Leuven, Leuven (Belgium)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22493420
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Chemical Physics; Journal Volume: 143; Journal Issue: 24; Other Information: (c) 2015 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; CALORIMETRY; CRYSTALLIZATION; CRYSTALS; DIELECTRIC MATERIALS; DIFFUSION; GAIN; GLASS; GLYCEROL; LIQUIDS; MOLECULAR BEAMS; PHYSICAL VAPOR DEPOSITION; RELAXATION TIME; SPECIFIC HEAT; VAPOR DEPOSITED COATINGS; VAPORS