A Caltech Library Service

Crystal to Glass Transition and its Relation to Melting


Li, Mo (1994) Crystal to Glass Transition and its Relation to Melting. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/a2hw-gm49.


This work contributes to the understanding of thermodynamic aspects and microscopic mechanisms of the crystal to glass transition and its relationship to melting. The topological order to disorder transition was investigated primarily in a model system consisting of Lennard-Jones binary solid solutions via molecular dynamics simulations. Under constant temperature and pressure, thermodynamic properties and structures of the solid solutions are mainly determined by solute/solvent atomic size difference and solute concentration. At a critical atomic size difference and/or concentration, the transition was found to occur with extremely small latent heat and density change, but large softening of shear elastic constants. Microscopic details such as atomic configuration show that the transition is induced by collective topological defects created by differences in atomic sizes of the solute and solvent atoms. The inhomogeneity in atomic displacements caused by these defects was shown to be directly responsible for crossover of the transition from a first order transition to a continuous one. The fundamental difference between melting and the crystal to glass transition was demonstrated by their thermodynamic, dynamic, and structural behavior under different kinetic environments. It was shown that melting is intrinsically a first order transition, whereas crystal to glass transition can occur in a variety of forms that are crucially dependent on the kinetic constraints imposed on the solid phases.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Applied Physics
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Applied Physics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Goddard, William A., III (advisor)
  • Johnson, William Lewis (co-advisor)
Thesis Committee:
  • Goddard, William A., III (co-chair)
  • Johnson, William Lewis (co-chair)
  • Fultz, Brent T.
  • Goodstein, David L.
  • Corngold, Noel Robert
Defense Date:5 May 1994
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-10052004-121305
Persistent URL:
Li, Mo0000-0002-0139-5839
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:3923
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:05 Oct 2004
Last Modified:16 Apr 2020 17:06

Thesis Files

PDF (Li_m_1994.pdf) - Final Version
See Usage Policy.


Repository Staff Only: item control page