Follow us at: https://plus.google.com/+tutorvista/
Check us out at http://www.tutorvista.com/content/physics/physics-iii/solids-and-fluids/amorphous-solids.php
Crystalline And Amorphous Solids
Amorphous solids and crystalline solids if the size of the crystals is very small. Even amorphous materials have some short-range order at the atomic length scale due the nature of chemical bonding. Furthermore, in very small crystals a large fraction of the atoms are located at or near the surface of the crystal; relaxation of the surface and interfacial effects distort the atomic positions, decreasing the structural order. Even the most advanced structural characterization techniques, such as x-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy, have difficulty in distinguishing between amorphous and crystalline structures on these length scales.The transition from the liquid state to the glass, at a temperature below the equilibrium melting point of the material, is called the glass transition. The glass transition temperature, Tg, is the temperature at which an amorphous solid, such as glass or a polymer, becomes brittle on cooling, or soft on heating. More specifically, it defines a pseudo second order phase transition in which a supercooled melt yields, on cooling, a glassy structure and properties similar to those of crystalline materials e.g. of an isotropic solid material. Tg is usually applicable to wholly or partially amorphous solids such as common glasses and plastics (organic polymers). Below the glass transition temperature, Tg, amorphous solids are in a glassy state and most of their joining bonds are intact. In inorganic glasses, with increased temperature more and more joining bonds are broken by thermal fluctuations so that broken bonds (termed configurons) begin to form clusters. Above Tg these clusters become macroscopic large facilitating the flow of material. In organic polymers, secondary, non-covalent bonds between the polymer chains become weak above Tg. Above Tg glasses and organic polymers become soft and capable of plastic deformation without fracture. This behavior is one of the things which make most plastics useful . It is important to note that the glass transition temperature is a kinetic parameter, and thus parametrically depends on the melt cooling rate. Thus the slower the melt cooling rate, the lower Tg. In addition, Tg depends on the measurement conditions, which are not universally defined . The glass transition temperature is approximately the temperature at which the viscosity of the liquid exceeds a certain value (about 1012 Pa•s). The transition temperature depends on cooling rate, with the glass transition occurring at higher temperatures for faster cooling rates. The precise nature of the glass transition is the subject of ongoing research. While it is clear that the glass transition is not a first-order thermodynamic transition (such as melting), there is debate as to whether it is a higher-order transition such percolation type transformation , or merely a kinetic effect.
The process of forming a crystalline structure from a fluid or from materials dissolved in the fluid is often referred to as crystallization. In the old example referenced by the root meaning of the word crystal, water being cooled undergoes a phase change from liquid to solid beginning with small ice crystals that grow until they fuse, forming a polycrystalline structure. The physical properties of the ice depend on the size and arrangement of the individual crystals, or grains, and the same may be said of metals solidifying from a molten state.Which crystal structure the fluid will form depends on the chemistry of the fluid, the conditions under which it is being solidified, and also on the ambient pressure. While the cooling process usually results in the generation of a crystalline material, under certain conditions, the fluid may be frozen in a noncrystalline state. In most cases, this involves cooling the fluid so rapidly that atoms cannot travel to their lattice sites before they lose mobility. A noncrystalline material, which has no long-range order, is called an amorphous, vitreous, or glassy material.
Please like our facebook page