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Soft Matter. 2012 Dec 7;8(45):11455-11461.

Generalized localization model of relaxation in glass-forming liquids.


Glassy solidification is characterized by two essential phenomena: localization of the solidifying material's constituent particles and a precipitous increase in its structural relaxation time τ. Determining how these two phenomena relate is key to understanding glass formation. Leporini and coworkers have recently argued that τ universally depends on a localization length-scale <u(2)> (the Debye-Waller factor) in a way that depends only upon the value of <u(2)> at the glass transition. Here we find that this 'universal' model does not accurately describe τ in several simulated and experimental glass-forming materials. We develop a new localization model of solidification, building upon the classical Hall-Wolynes and free volume models of glass formation, that accurately relates τ to <u(2)> in all systems considered. This new relationship is based on a consideration of the the anisotropic nature of particle localization. The model also indicates the presence of a particle delocalization transition at high temperatures associated with the onset of glass formation.

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