Confinement as a tool to probe amorphous order


Giacomo Gradenigo (CEA Saclay)


Confinement is one among the most promising strategies to detect the existence of amorphous order in supercooled liquids. Unfortunately, mostly due to the different kind of interactions with the boundaries, confined fluids show a non-universal behavior: the glass transition temperature is found to increase or decrease as a function of the confinement length depending on the experimental system.

I will present here analytical results on the effect of confinement on glassy liquids using Random First Order Transition theory as framework. In particular, we find that the characteristic length-scale above which confinement effects become negligible is related to the point-to-set length-scale introduced to measure the spatial extent of amorphous order in super-cooled liquids.

I will clarify similarities and differences between the physical behaviors induced by confinement and by pinning particles outside a spherical cavity (the protocol introduced to measure the point-to-set length). As a final remark, possible numerical and experimental tests of our theoretical predictions will be pointed out.

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