Disorder and excess modes in hard-sphere colloidal systems
1 Institute of Physics, University of Amsterdam - Science Park 904, 1098 XH Amsterdam, the Netherlands
2 Institute of Industrial Science, University of Tokyo - 4-6-1 Komaba, Meguro- ku, Tokyo 153-8505, Japan
Received: 15 July 2014
Accepted: 9 October 2014
The anomalous thermodynamic properties of glasses remain incompletely understood, notably the anomalous peak in the heat capacity at low temperatures; it is believed to be due to an excess of low-frequency vibrational modes and a manifestation of the structural disorder in these systems. We study the thermodynamics and vibrational dynamics of colloidal glasses and (defected) crystals. The experimental determination of the vibrational density of states allows us to directly observe a strong enhancement of low-frequency modes. Using a novel method (Zargar R. et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 110 (2013) 258301) to determine the free energy, we also determine the entropy and the specific heat experimentally. It follows that the emergence of the excess modes and high values of the specific heat are directly related and are specific to the glass: even for solids containing a very large amount of defects, both the low-frequency density of states and the specific heat are significantly smaller than for the glass.
PACS: 82.70.Dd – Colloids / 64.70.pv – Colloids / 63.50.-x – Vibrational states in disordered systems
© EPLA, 2014