Model for the alpha and beta shear-mechanical properties of supercooled liquids and its comparison to squalane data

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This paper presents data for supercooled squalane’s frequency-dependent shear modulus covering frequencies from 10 mHz to 30 kHz and temperatures from 168 K to 190 K; measurements are also reported for the glass phase down to 146 K. The data reveal a strong mechanical beta process. A model is proposed for the shear response of the metastable equilibrium liquid phase of supercooled liquids. The model is an electrical equivalent-circuit characterized by additivity of the dynamic shear compliances of the alpha and beta processes. The nontrivial parts of the alpha and beta processes are each represented by a “Cole-Cole retardation element” defined as a series connection of a capacitor and a constant-phase element, resulting in the Cole-Cole compliance function well-known from dielectrics. The model, which assumes that the high-frequency decay of the alpha shear compliance loss varies with the angular frequency as ω−1/2ω−1/2, has seven parameters. Assuming time-temperature superposition for the alpha and beta processes separately, the number of parameters varying with temperature is reduced to four. The model provides a better fit to the data than an equally parametrized Havriliak-Negami type model. From the temperature dependence of the best-fit model parameters, the following conclusions are drawn: (1) the alpha relaxation time conforms to the shoving model; (2) the beta relaxation loss-peak frequency is almost temperature independent; (3) the alpha compliance magnitude, which in the model equals the inverse of the instantaneous shear modulus, is only weakly temperature dependent; (4) the beta compliance magnitude decreases by a factor of three upon cooling in the temperature range studied. The final part of the paper briefly presents measurements of the dynamic adiabatic bulk modulus covering frequencies from 10 mHz to 10 kHz in the temperature range from 172 K to 200 K. The data are qualitatively similar to the shear modulus data by having a significant beta process. A single-order-parameter framework is suggested to rationalize these similarities.
TidsskriftThe Journal of Chemical Physics
Antal sider12
StatusUdgivet - 2017


  • Elastic moduli
  • Computer modeling
  • Relaxation times
  • Glass transitions
  • Capacitors

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