Gels and glasses in a single system: Evidence for an intricate free-energy landscape of glassy materials

S. Jabbari-Farouji, G.H. Wegdam, D. Bonn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

In the free-energy landscape picture of glassy systems, their slow dynamics is due to a complicated free-energy landscape with many local minima. We show that for a colloidal glassy material multiple paths can be taken through the free-energy landscape. The evolution of the nonergodicity parameter shows two distinct master curves that we identify as gels and glasses. We show that for a range of colloid concentrations, the transition to nonergodicity can occur in either direction (gel or glass), accompanied by "hesitations" between the two. Thus, colloidal gels and glasses are merely global free-energy minima in the same free-energy landscape, and the paths leading to these minima can be complicated. © 2007 The American Physical Society.
Original languageEnglish
Article number065701
Pages (from-to)065701-1/4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume99
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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