Kinetics of spontaneous change in the localized motions of D-sorbitol glass
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The dielectric relaxation spectra of D-sorbitol glass have been studied in real time during annealing at 221.1 K, which is 47 K below its T(g) of 268 K. As the glass structurally relaxes during annealing, features of the Johari-Goldstein (JG) relaxation change with time: (i) the relaxation strength decreases, (ii) the relaxation peak at 48 Hz shifts to a higher frequency, and (iii) the relaxation spectra become narrower. All seem to follow the relation p proportional, variant exp[-(kt)(n)], where p is the magnitude of a property, k the rate constant, and t the time. The parameter n may well be less than 1, but this could not be ascertained. It is proposed that shift of the relaxation peak to a higher frequency and narrowing of the relaxation spectra occur when local, loosely packed regions of molecules in the glass structure collapse nonuniformly and the relaxation time of some of the molecules in the collapsed state becomes too long to contribute to the JG-relaxation spectra. Consequently, the half width of the spectra decreases, and the relaxation peak shifts to a higher frequency. Molecules whose diffusion becomes too slow after the local regions' collapse would contribute to the alpha-relaxation spectra and thus the net relaxation strength would increase on structural relaxation. It is argued that these findings conflict with the NMR-based conclusions that motion of all molecules in the glass and supercooled liquid contributes to the faster relaxation process.
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