Sunday, November 27, 2011

Seminar and meetings in France

I'm giving a seminar in the Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS) in Lyon, France the 6th of December. Just after that I'll be in Paris for 2 consecutive meetings:
Both seminar and poster are about the same stuff I talked about in Kanto-softmatter workshop and in a previous post. Here is the more formal abstract.
A link between local structural ordering and slow dynamics has recently attracted much attention from the context of the origin of glassy slow dynamics [1, 2]. There have been a few candidates for such structural order [3, 4], icosahedral order, exotic amorphous order, and crystal-like order. Each type of order is linked to a different scenario of glass transition. Thus, revealing the order responsible for slow dynamics is crucial for our understanding of the glass transition. Here we experimentally access local structural order in polydisperse hard spheres by its particle-level observation with confocal microscopy. We identify the key structures as icosahedral and face-centred-cubic(fcc)-like order, excluding any other simple local symmetry. We find that both types of order are statistically associated with slow particles. However, when approaching the glass transition, the icosahedral order does not grow in size whereas crystal-like structures grow. It is the latter that governs the dynamics and is linked to dynamic heterogeneity. This questions the direct roles of the icosahedral ordering in glassy slow dynamics and stresses the importance of the structural order compatible with the avoided first order transition, crystallization. Our finding also suggests that the growing lengthscale of structural order is essential for the slowing down of dynamics and the nonlocal cooperativity in particle motion.


  1. Cavagna, A. Supercooled liquids for pedestrians. Physics Reports 476, 51124, 2009.
  2. Berthier, L. & Biroli, G. Theoretical perspective on the glass transition and amorphous materials. Rev. Mod. Phys. 83, 587, 2011.
  3. Steinhardt, P., Nelson, D. & Ronchetti, M. Bond-orientational order in liquids and glasses. Phys. Rev. B 28, 784805, 1983.
  4. Tarjus, G., Kivelson, S. A., Nussinov, Z. & Viot, P. The frustration-based approach of super-cooled liquids and the glass transition: a review and critical assessment. J. Phys.: Condens. Matter 17, R114R1182, 2005.
  5. Lubchenko, V. & Wolynes, P. Theory of structural glasses and supercooled liquids. Annu. Rev. Phys. Chem. 58, 235266, 2007.
  6. Tanaka, H., Kawasaki, T., Shintani, H. & Watanabe, K. Critical-like behaviour of glass-forming liquids. Nature materials 9, 324Ð31, 2010.
Reconstruction from confocal microscopy coordinates. Only structured particles are shown for clarity.

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