Floppy modes in network glasses

Y. Cai, M. F. Thorpe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


We discuss how concepts from rigidity percolation can be used to understand the low-frequency excitations and elastic properties of network glasses like GexAsySe1-x-y. When the mean coordination r=2+2x+y is low, these materials are soft and their properties are strongly influenced by low-frequency phonons. We use a bond-depleted diamond lattice to mimic the coordination properties of the glass. We show that a model with only covalent forces is unstable for r<2.4 but can be stabilized by small additional forces. We calculate the elastic constants, the density of states, and the Debye-Waller factor as a function of r. Despite the simplicity of the model, the rounded phase transition at r=2.4 is consistent with recent experimental results involving ultrasonics, inelastic neutron scattering, and Mössbauer experiments on GexSe1-x glasses. The floppy modes, observed in inelastic neutron scattering, disappear as r increases from 2 up to around 2.4.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10535-10542
Number of pages8
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number15
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics


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