Theory predicts, and experiments have shown, that dynamics is faster at glass surfaces than in the bulk, allowing the glass to settle into deeper energy landscape minima, or age more. Is it possible that a glass surface could survive at temperatures where the bulk crystallizes, or that it could remain glassy after the bulk is heated all the way to its melting temperature and re-cooled We image in real-time and with sub-nanometer resolution the two-state surface dynamics on a cerium-based glass surface, from deep within the glassy regime to above the crystallization temperature. Unlike other surfaces that we have studied, this glass surface remains amorphous even after the bulk re-crystallizes. The surface retains non-crystalline structure and two state dynamics of cooperatively rearranging regions even after heat annealing to just below the bulk melting temperature. The heat-annealed cooperatively rearranging regions are larger than originally, a sign that the surface is well aged. The surface dynamics depends weakly on temperature, showing no sign of the superexponential increase in bulk dynamics expected near T g.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number141102
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number14
StatePublished - Oct 14 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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