Published Date2019-06-20
JournalThe journal of physical chemistry. B, 2019-06-20, Volume 123 Find other publications in this journal
Author Info
  • Department of Physics and Astronomy , University of Pennsylvania , Philadelphia , Pennsylvania 19104 , United States.
  • Department of Physics , Saint Joseph's University , Philadelphia , Pennsylvania 19131 , United States.


The dynamics in supercooled liquids slow enormously upon approaching the glass transition, albeit without significant change of liquid structure. This empirical observation has stimulated development of many theoretical models which attempt to elucidate microscopic mechanisms in glasses and glass precursors. Here, quasi-two-dimensional colloidal supercooled liquids and glasses are employed to experimentally test predictions of widely used models: mode coupling theory (MCT) and its important extension, inhomogeneous MCT (IMCT). We measure two-point dynamic correlation functions in the glass forming liquids to determine structural relaxation times, τ, and mode coupling exponents, a, b, and γ; these parameters are then used to extract the mode coupling dynamic crossover packing area-fraction, ϕ . This information, along with our measurements of supercooled liquid spatiotemporal dynamics, permits characterization of dynamic heterogeneities in the samples and facilitates direct experimental tests of the scaling predictions of IMCT. The time scales at which dynamic heterogeneities are largest, and their spatial sizes, exhibit power law growth on approaching ϕ . Within experimental error, the exponents of the measured power laws are close to the predictions of IMCT.