The Crystallization of Disordered Materials under Shock Is Governed by Their Network Topology

LW Tang and P Srivastava and V Gupta and M Bauchy, ADVANCED SCIENCE, 10 (2023).

DOI: 10.1002/advs.202300131

When the shock load is applied, materials experience incredibly high temperature and pressure conditions on picosecond timescales, usually accompanied by remarkable physical or chemical phenomena. Understanding the underlying physics that governs the kinetics of shocked materials is of great importance for both physics and materials science. Here, combining experiment and large-scale molecular dynamics simulation, the ultrafast nanoscale crystal nucleation process in shocked soda-lime silicate glass is investigated. By adopting topological constraints theory, this study finds that the propensity of nucleation is governed by the connectivity of the atomic network. The densification of local networks, which appears once the crystal starts to grow, results in the underconstrained shell around the crystal and prevents further crystallization. These results shed light on the nanoscale crystallization mechanism of shocked materials from the viewpoint of topological constraint theory.

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