The relaxation behavior of glass is influenced by the presence of dynamical heterogeneities, which lead to an intrinsically non-monotonic decay of fluctuations in density and enthalpy during isothermal annealing. This is apparently a universal feature of fragile glass forming systems associated with localized spatial variations in relaxation time. Here we present direct experimental observation of the nonmonotonic evolution of enthalpy fluctuations in glassy selenium annealed near room temperature. The nonmonotonic change in the distribution of enthalpy fluctuations measured by heat capacity spectroscopy offers direct evidence for the presence of dynamical heterogeneity in this glass. An enthalpy landscape model of selenium is then used to simulate annealing under identical conditions. The simulation results closely follow the evolution of enthalpy fluctuations observed experimentally. The close match between model and experiment demonstrate that enthalpy and density fluctuations are sources of dynamical heterogeneities in glassy materials.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry