Glassy dynamics and kinetic vitrification of isotropic suspensions of hard rods

Galina Yatsenko, Kenneth S Schweizer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A nonlinear Langevin equation (NLE) theory for the translational center-of-mass dynamics of hard nonspherical objects has been applied to isotropic fluids of rigid rods. The ideal kinetic glass transition volume fraction is predicted to be a monotonically decreasing function beyond an aspect ratio of two. The functional form of the decrease is weaker than the inverse aspect ratio. Vitrification occurs at lower volume fractions for corrugated tangent bead rods compared to their smooth spherocylinder analogs. The ideal glass transition signals a crossover to activated dynamics, which is estimated to be observable before the nematic phase boundary is encountered if the aspect ratio is less than roughly 25. Calculations of the glassy elastic shear modulus and absolute yield stress reveal a roughly exponential growth with volume fraction. The dependence of entropie barriers and mean barrier hopping times on concentration for rods of variable aspect ratios can be collapsed quite well based on a difference volume fraction variable that quantifies the distance from the ideal glass boundary. Full numerical solution of the NLE theory via stochastic trajectory simulation was performed for tangent bead rods, and the results were compared to their hard sphere analogs. With increasing shape anisotropy the characteristic length scales of the nonequilibrium free energy increase and the magnitude of the localization well and entropie barrier curvatures decreases. These changes result in a significant aspect ratio dependence of dynamical properties and time correlation functions including weaker intermediate time subdiffusive transport, stronger two-step decay of the incoherent dynamic structure factor, longer mean alpha relaxation time, and stronger wavevector-dependent decoupling of relaxation times and the self-diffusion constant. The theoretical results are potentially testable via computer simulation, confocal microscopy, and dynamic light scattering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7474-7484
Number of pages11
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 15 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Spectroscopy
  • Electrochemistry


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