Supercooled Lennard-Jones Liquids and Glasses: a Kinetic Monte Carlo Approach

Research paper by Javier Hernandez-Rojas, David J. Wales

Indexed on: 07 Dec '01Published on: 07 Dec '01Published in: Physics - Soft Condensed Matter


A kinetic Monte Carlo (KMC) method is used to study the structural properties and dynamics of a supercooled binary Lennard-Jones liquid around the glass transition temperature. This technique permits us to explore the potential energy surface and barrier distributions without suffering the exponential slowing down at low temperature that affects molecular dynamics simulations. In agreement with previous studies we observe a distinct change in behaviour around $T=0.45$, close to the dynamical transition temperature $T_c$ of mode coupling theory (MCT). Below this temperature the number of different local minima visited by the system for the same number of KMC steps decreases by more than an order of magnitude. The mean number of atoms involved in each jump between local minima and the average distance they move also decreases significantly, and new features appear in the partial structure factor. Above $T~0.45$ the probability distribution for the magnitude of the atomic displacement per KMC step exhibits an exponential decay, which is only weakly temperature dependent.