Enhanced dynamics in deep thermal cycling of a model glass
M. M. Bruns, F. Varnik.
The Journal of Chemical Physics, AIP Publishing,, 156, 234501, (2022)
We investigate the effect of low temperature (cryogenic) thermal cycling on dynamics of a generic model glass via molecular dynamics simulations. By calculating mean squared displacements after a varying number of cycles, a pronounced enhancement of dynamics is observed. This rejuvenation effect is visible already after the first cycle and accumulates upon further cycling in an intermittent way. Our data reveal an overall deformation (buckling of the slab-shaped system) modulated by a heterogeneous deformation field due to deep cryogenic thermal cycling. It is shown via strain maps that deformation localizes in the form of shear-bands, which gradually fill the entire sample in a random and intermittent manner, very much similar to the accumulation effect observed in dynamics. While spatial organization of local strain may be connected to the specific geometry, we argue that the heterogeneity of the structure is the main cause behind rejuvenation effects observed in the present study.