The Journal of chemical physics

Temperature divergence of the dynamics of a poly(vinyl acetate) glass: dielectric vs. mechanical behaviors.

PMID 22519344


The dynamics of glass forming liquids as the glass transition temperature (T(g)) is traversed has become of special interest because of the continuing question as to whether or not the dynamics diverge towards an ideal glass transition/Kauzmann temperature or if the apparent Vogel-Fulcher-Tammann (VFT) divergence is lost as one goes below the conventional T(g) but remains in equilibrium. Here we examine the response of a poly(vinyl acetate) PVAc polymer glass-former using both dielectric and mechanical methods in the vicinity of T(g). Isothermal measurements were performed to study the aging behavior of the PVAc and to assure that the equilibrium state was achieved for temperatures as much as 16 K below the calorimetric T(g). Surprisingly, we found that the mechanical response took much longer to age into its equilibrium than did the dielectric response. Also, the temperature dependence of the time-temperature shift factors obtained from the two methods is different and the dielectric response shows a turnover to an apparent Arrhenius behavior rather than a continuation of the VFT extrapolated divergence at the lowest temperatures tested.