Spatial correlations of mobility and immobility in a glass-forming Lennard-Jones liquid

C Donati and SC Glotzer and PH Poole and W Kob and SJ Plimpton, PHYSICAL REVIEW E, 60, 3107-3119 (1999).

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.60.3107

Using extensive molecular dynamics simulations of an equilibrium, glass- forming Lennard-Jones mixture, we characterize in detail the local atomic motions. We show that spatial correlations exist among particles undergoing extremely large ("mobile") or extremely small:("immobile") displacements over a suitably chosen time interval. The immobile particles form the cores of relatively compact clusters, while the mobile particles move cooperatively and form quasi-one-dimensional stringlike clusters. The strength and length scale of the correlations between mobile particles are found to grow strongly with decreasing temperature, and the mean cluster size appears to diverge near the mode- coupling critical; temperature. We show that these correlations in the particle displacements are related to equilibrium fluctuations in the local potential energy and local composition. S1063-651X(99)06309-6.

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