Multiple length and time scales of dynamic heterogeneities in model glass-forming liquids: A systematic analysis of multi-point and multi-time correlations

Kim, Kang; Saito, Shinji
March 2013
Journal of Chemical Physics;Mar2013, Vol. 138 Issue 12, p12A506
Academic Journal
We report an extensive and systematic investigation of the multi-point and multi-time correlation functions to reveal the spatio-temporal structures of dynamic heterogeneities in glass-forming liquids. Molecular dynamics simulations are carried out for the supercooled states of various prototype models of glass-forming liquids such as binary Kob-Andersen, Wahnström, soft-sphere, and network-forming liquids. While the first three models act as fragile liquids exhibiting super-Arrhenius temperature dependence in their relaxation times, the last is a strong glass-former exhibiting Arrhenius behavior. First, we quantify the length scale of the dynamic heterogeneities utilizing the four-point correlation function. The growth of the dynamic length scale with decreasing temperature is characterized by various scaling relations that are analogous to the critical phenomena. We also examine how the growth of the length scale depends upon the model employed. Second, the four-point correlation function is extended to a three-time correlation function to characterize the temporal structures of the dynamic heterogeneities based on our previous studies [K. Kim and S. Saito, Phys. Rev. E 79, 060501(R) (2009); and J. Chem. Phys. 133, 044511 (2010)]. We provide comprehensive numerical results obtained from the three-time correlation function for the above models. From these calculations, we examine the time scale of the dynamic heterogeneities and determine the associated lifetime in a consistent and systematic way. Our results indicate that the lifetime of the dynamical heterogeneities becomes much longer than the α-relaxation time determined from a two-point correlation function in fragile liquids. The decoupling between the two time scales is remarkable, particularly in supercooled states, and the time scales differ by more than an order of magnitude in a more fragile liquid. In contrast, the lifetime is shorter than the α-relaxation time in tetrahedral network-forming strong liquid, even at lower temperatures.


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