skip to main content


The NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) system and access will be unavailable from 11:00 PM ET on Thursday, June 13 until 2:00 AM ET on Friday, June 14 due to maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Title: Effect of molecular size and hydrogen bonding on three surface-facilitated processes in molecular glasses: Surface diffusion, surface crystal growth, and formation of stable glasses by vapor deposition
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
The Journal of Chemical Physics
Page Range / eLocation ID:
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Surface diffusion has been measured in the glass of an organic semiconductor, MTDATA, using the method of surface grating decay. The decay rate was measured as a function of temperature and grating wavelength, and the results indicate that the decay mechanism is viscous flow at high temperatures and surface diffusion at low temperatures. Surface diffusion in MTDATA is enhanced by 4 orders of magnitude relative to bulk diffusion when compared at the glass transition temperature T g . The result on MTDATA has been analyzed along with the results on other molecular glasses without extensive hydrogen bonds. In total, these systems cover a wide range of molecular geometries from rod-like to quasi-spherical to discotic and their surface diffusion coefficients vary by 9 orders of magnitude. We find that the variation is well explained by the existence of a steep surface mobility gradient and the anchoring of surface molecules at different depths. Quantitative analysis of these results supports a recently proposed double-exponential form for the mobility gradient: log  D( T, z) = log  D v ( T) + [log  D 0 − log  D v ( T)]exp(− z/ξ), where D( T, z) is the depth-dependent diffusion coefficient, D v ( T) is the bulk diffusion coefficient, D 0 ≈ 10 −8  m 2 /s, and ξ ≈ 1.5 nm. Assuming representative bulk diffusion coefficients for these fragile glass formers, the model reproduces the presently known surface diffusion rates within 0.6 decade. Our result provides a general way to predict the surface diffusion rates in molecular glasses. 
    more » « less
  2. null (Ed.)
    The method of surface grating decay has been used to measure surface diffusion in the glasses of two rod-like molecules posaconazole (POS) and itraconazole (ITZ). Although structurally similar antifungal medicines, ITZ forms liquid-crystalline phases while POS does not. Surface diffusion in these systems is significantly slower than in the glasses of quasi-spherical molecules of similar volume when compared at the glass transition temperature T g . Between the two systems, ITZ has slower surface diffusion. These results are explained on the basis of the near-vertical orientation of the rod-like molecules at the surface and their deep penetration into the bulk where mobility is low. For molecular glasses without extensive hydrogen bonds, we find that the surface diffusion coefficient at T g decreases smoothly with the penetration depth of surface molecules and the trend has the double-exponential form for the surface mobility gradient observed in simulations. This supports the view that these molecular glasses have a similar mobility vs. depth profile and their different surface diffusion rates arise simply from the different depths at which molecules are anchored. Our results also provide support for a previously observed correlation between the rate of surface diffusion and the fragility of the bulk liquid. 
    more » « less