Equilibrium ultrastable glasses produced by random pinning

Glen M. Hocky, Ludovic Berthier, David R. Reichman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ultrastable glasses have risen to prominence due to their potentially useful material properties and the tantalizing possibility of a general method of preparation via vapor deposition. Despite the importance of this novel class of amorphous materials, numerical studies have been scarce because achieving ultrastability in atomistic simulations is an enormous challenge. Here, we bypass this difficulty and establish that randomly pinning the position of a small fraction of particles inside an equilibrated supercooled liquid generates ultrastable configurations at essentially no numerical cost, while avoiding undesired structural changes due to the preparation protocol. Building on the analogy with vapor-deposited ultrastable glasses, we study the melting kinetics of these configurations following a sudden temperature jump into the liquid phase. In homogeneous geometries, we find that enhanced kinetic stability is accompanied by large scale dynamic heterogeneity, while a competition between homogeneous and heterogeneous melting is observed when a liquid boundary invades the glass at constant velocity. Our work demonstrates the feasibility of large-scale, atomistically resolved, and experimentally relevant simulations of the kinetics of ultrastable glasses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number224503
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number22
StatePublished - Dec 14 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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