Crystallization at the glass transition in supercooled thin films of methanol

Dounce, Susan M.; Mundy, Julia; Dai, Hai-Lung
May 2007
Journal of Chemical Physics;5/21/2007, Vol. 126 Issue 19, p191111
Academic Journal
The stability of an amorphous material depends on how fast and by what mechanism crystallization occurs. Based on crystallization rate measurements through optical reflectivity changes in supercooled methanol thin films, it is observed for the first time that there is a definitive and detectable change of the crystallization mechanism at the glass transition temperature Tg. For methanol glasses below Tg=103.4 K, crystallization occurs as an interface controlled, one-dimension process at frozen-in embryo sites, while in the deep supercooled liquid phase above Tg crystallization is diffusion controlled in two dimensions with a constant nucleation rate and an activation energy of 107.8(±4.7) kJ/mol.


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