Dynamics of supercooled melts treated in terms of the random-walk concept

R. Richert, H. Bassler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations


The concept of random walk of an excitation within a Gaussian density of states (DOS) is applied to treat diffusion and viscous motion of glass-forming elements controlled by the random potential established upon supercooling a melt. It relates the super-Arrhenius-type temperature dependence observed for viscosity and related properties at T>Tg (the glass transition temperature) to the energetic relaxation of the glass elements within the DOS. The resulting relaxation pattern implies that the system must become non-ergodic at the temperature where the time required to relax to dynamic equilibrium exceeds the experimental time-scale. The model is able to explain quantitatively (i) eta (T) data in the temperature range Tc>T>or=T g (Tc being a critical temperature above which collective effects, tractable within the mode-coupling concept, become important), (ii) the dependence of Tg on cooling rate and (iii) the Arrhenius-type T dependence of molecular motion below Tg, and qualitatively (iv) the occurrence of physical aging and (v) non-exponential relaxation patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number016
Pages (from-to)2273-2288
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Physics: Condensed Matter
Issue number9
StatePublished - Dec 1 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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