Waterlike glass polyamorphism in a monoatomic isotropic Jagla model

Limei Xu, Nicolas Giovambattista, Sergey V. Buldyrev, Pablo G. Debenedetti, H. Eugene Stanley

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We perform discrete-event molecular dynamics simulations of a system of particles interacting with a spherically-symmetric (isotropic) two-scale Jagla pair potential characterized by a hard inner core, a linear repulsion at intermediate separations, and a weak attractive interaction at larger separations. This model system has been extensively studied due to its ability to reproduce many thermodynamic, dynamic, and structural anomalies of liquid water. The model is also interesting because: (i) it is very simple, being composed of isotropically interacting particles, (ii) it exhibits polyamorphism in the liquid phase, and (iii) its slow crystallization kinetics facilitate the study of glassy states. There is interest in the degree to which the known polyamorphism in glassy water may have parallels in liquid water. Motivated by parallels between the properties of the Jagla potential and those of water in the liquid state, we study the metastable phase diagram in the glass state. Specifically, we perform the computational analog of the protocols followed in the experimental studies of glassy water. We find that the Jagla potential calculations reproduce three key experimental features of glassy water: (i) the crystal-to-high-density amorphous solid (HDA) transformation upon isothermal compression, (ii) the low-density amorphous solid (LDA)-to-HDA transformation upon isothermal compression, and (iii) the HDA-to-very-high-density amorphous solid (VHDA) transformation upon isobaric annealing at high pressure. In addition, the HDA-to-LDA transformation upon isobaric heating, observed in water experiments, can only be reproduced in the Jagla model if a free surface is introduced in the simulation box. The HDA configurations obtained in cases (i) and (ii) are structurally indistinguishable, suggesting that both processes result in the same glass. With the present parametrization, the evolution of density with pressure or temperature is remarkably similar to the corresponding experimental measurements on water. Our simulations also suggest that the Jagla potential may reproduce features of the HDA-VHDA transformations observed in glassy water upon compression and decompression. Snapshots of the system during the HDA-VHDA and HDA-LDA transformations reveal a clear segregation between LDA and HDA but not between HDA and VHDA, consistent with the possibility that LDA and HDA are separated by a first order transformation as found experimentally, whereas HDA and VHDA are not. Our results demonstrate that a system of particles with simple isotropic pair interactions, a Jagla potential with two characteristic length scales, can present polyamorphism in the glass state as well as reproducing many of the distinguishing properties of liquid water. While most isotropic pair potential models crystallize readily on simulation time scales at the low temperatures investigated here, the Jagla potential is an exception, and is therefore a promising model system for the study of glass phenomenology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number064507
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Feb 14 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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