Cavitation transition in the energy landscape: Distinct tensile yielding behavior in strongly and weakly attractive systems

Y. Elia Altabet, Andreia L. Fenley, Frank H. Stillinger, Pablo G. Debenedetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Particles with cohesive interactions display a tensile instability in the energy landscape at the Sastry density ρS. The signature of this tensile limit is a minimum in the landscape equation of state, the pressure-density relationship of inherent structures sampled along a liquid isotherm. Our previous work [Y. E. Altabet, F. H. Stillinger, and P. G. Debenedetti, J. Chem. Phys. 145, 211905 (2016)] revisited the phenomenology of Sastry behavior and found that the evolution of the landscape equation of state with system size for particles with interactions typical of molecular liquids indicates the presence of an athermal first-order phase transition between homogeneous and fractured inherent structures, the latter containing several large voids. Here, we study how this tensile limit manifests itself for different interparticle cohesive strengths and identify two distinct regimes. Particles with sufficiently strong cohesion display an athermal first-order phase transition, consistent with our prior characterization. Weak cohesion also displays a tensile instability. However, the landscape equation of state for this regime is independent of system size, suggesting the absence of a first-order phase transition. An analysis of the voids suggests that yielding in the energy landscape of weakly cohesive systems is associated with the emergence of a highly interconnected network of small voids. While strongly cohesive systems transition from exclusively homogeneous to exclusively fractured configurations at ρS in the thermodynamic limit, this interconnected network develops gradually, starting at ρS, even at infinite system size.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number114501
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number11
StatePublished - Mar 21 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Cavitation transition in the energy landscape: Distinct tensile yielding behavior in strongly and weakly attractive systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this