A geometrical criterion for glass transition in soft-sphere fluids

Yuxing Zhou, Scott T. Milner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


As glass-forming fluids become colder and denser, structural rearrangements become slow and eventually cease. For hard-sphere fluids, percolation of particles unable to change neighbors (T1-inactive particles) signals the glass transition. To investigate this geometrical criterion for mobility in soft-sphere systems, we simulate monodisperse fluids interacting with a generalized Weeks-Chandler-Andersen (WCA) potential in metastable equilibrium, using our previously developed crystal-avoiding method. We find that the vanishing diffusivity as the glass transition is approached can be described by a power law below the onset temperature of super-Arrhenius behavior. By mapping the soft spheres to hard spheres based on mean collision energy, we find that the diffusivity versus effective volume fraction curves collapse onto the hard-sphere curve for all systems studied. We find that the onset of super-Arrhenius behavior and the MCT dynamic glass transition correlate well with temperature when the T1-inactive particles form clusters of two particles on average and when the T1-inactive clusters percolate the entire system, respectively. Our findings provide new insight into the structural origin of glassy dynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7075-7082
Number of pages8
JournalSoft matter
Issue number34
StatePublished - 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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