Relaxation dynamics and ionic conductivity in a fragile plastic crystal

Th Bauer, M. Köhler, P. Lunkenheimer, A. Loidl, Charles Angell

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63 Scopus citations


We report a thorough characterization of the dielectric relaxation behavior and the ionic conductivity in the plastic-crystalline mixture of 60% succinonitrile and 40% glutaronitrile. The plastic phase can be easily supercooled and the relaxational behavior is investigated by broadband dielectric spectroscopy in the liquid, plastic crystalline, and glassy crystal phases. The α -relaxation found in the spectra is characterized in detail. A well-pronounced secondary and faint indications for a third relaxation process were found. The latter most likely is of Johari-Goldstein type. From the temperature dependence of the α -relaxation time, a fragility parameter of 62 was determined. Thus, together with Freon112, this material stands out among all other plastic crystals by being a relatively fragile glass former. This finding provides strong support for an energy-landscape related explanation of the fragility of glass formers. In addition, unusually strong conductivity contributions were detected in the spectra exhibiting the typical features of ionic charge transport making this material a good basis for solid-state electrolytes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number144509
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number14
StatePublished - Oct 14 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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