Phase-ordering kinetics of the liquid-liquid transition in single-component molecular liquids

Kurita, Rei; Tanaka, Hajime
May 2007
Journal of Chemical Physics;5/28/2007, Vol. 126 Issue 20, p204505
Academic Journal
Recently it has been revealed that even a single-component liquid can have more than two liquid states. The transition between these liquid states is called the “liquid-liquid transition.” Most known liquid-liquid transitions occur at temperatures and pressures which are difficult to access experimentally, so the physical nature of the transition, particularly the kinetics, has remained elusive. However, the recent discovery of liquid-liquid transitions in molecular liquids opens up a possibility to study the kinetics in detail. Here, we report the first phase field simulation on the kinetics of a liquid-liquid transition and its direct comparison with experimental results of the molecular liquids. Both nucleation-growth-type and spinodal-decomposition-type liquid-liquid transformation observed experimentally are well reproduced by numerical simulation based on a two-order-parameter model of liquid that regards the liquid-liquid transition as the cooperative formation of locally favored structures. Thus, phase field calculations may allow us to predict the kinetics of liquid-liquid transitions and the resulting spatiotemporal change of various physical properties of the liquid, such as density and refractive index.


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