Using molecular dynamics simulations we show that two distinct crystallization processes, depending on the temperature at which crystallization occurs, appear in a supercooled liquid. As a model for glass-forming materials, an Al2O3 model system, in which both the glass transition and crystallization from the supercooled liquid can be well reproduced, is employed. Simulations in the framework of an isothermal-isobaric ensemble indicate that the calculated time-temperature-transformation curve for the crystallization to γ(defect spinel)-Al2O3 exhibited a typical nose shape, as experimentally observed in various glass materials. During annealing above the nose temperature, the structure of the supercooled liquid does not change before the crystallization, because of the high atomic mobility (material transport). Thus, the crystallization is governed by the abrupt crystal nucleation, which results in the formation of a stable crystal structure. In contrast, during annealing below the nose temperature, the structure of the supercooled liquid gradually changes before the crystallization, and the formed crystal structure is less stable than that formed above the nose temperature, because of the restricted material transport.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry