Slow dynamics in colloids and network glasses close to the structural arrest: the Stress-relaxation as a root to equilibrium

Dallari, Francesco (2018) Slow dynamics in colloids and network glasses close to the structural arrest: the Stress-relaxation as a root to equilibrium. PhD thesis, University of Trento.

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Microscopically disordered materials are at the core of an increasing number of new material technologies, but crucial limitations in their applications come from the physical aging of their properties and the extreme sensitivity on the system's history, which stem from the their intrinsically out of equilibrium nature. A clear understanding of the aging phenomenon, as well as the effects of the release of internal stresses acting at different length-scales, are still lacking. In this Thesis the slow dynamics of disordered systems is investigated at different length-scales ranging from the micrometre length-scale probed in optical experiments to length-scales of few angstroms probed in wide angle X-ray experiments. The time evolution of the probed out of equilibrium dynamics is thoroughly studied in different glasses exploiting the multi speckle photon correlation technique with different sources. The investigated materials are a set of strong glass-formers (materials that can be found in a wide variety of common glassware) and colloidal suspensions at high volume fractions in an arrested state. The latter class of materials are known as soft glasses and in recent years they are earning great interest and can be found in a lot of industrial products (e.g. wall paint, ink, chocolate) or in production processes (e.g. ceramics). Despite the differences between the probed systems and their production protocols, it is here shown that in all the studied materials the microscopic dynamics displays common trends and that it is strongly connected to the relaxation of the stresses that have remained trapped in these systems after their production.

Item Type:Doctoral Thesis (PhD)
Doctoral School:Physics
PhD Cycle:30
Subjects:Area 02 - Scienze fisiche > FIS/01 FISICA SPERIMENTALE
Area 02 - Scienze fisiche > FIS/03 FISICA DELLA MATERIA
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