The Journal of chemical physics

Dielectric spectroscopy and ultrasonic study of propylene carbonate under ultra-high pressures.

PMID 22938245


We present the high pressure dielectric spectroscopy (up to 4.2 GPa) and ultrasonic study (up to 1.7 GPa) of liquid and glassy propylene carbonate (PC). Both of the methods provide complementary pictures of the glass transition in PC under pressure. No other relaxation processes except α-relaxation have been found in the studied pressure interval. The propylene carbonate liquid is a glassformer where simple relaxation and the absence of β-relaxation are registered in the record-breaking ranges of pressures and densities. The equation of state of liquid PC was extended up to 1 GPa from ultrasonic measurements of bulk modulus and is in good accordance with the previous equations developed from volumetric data. We measured the bulk and shear moduli and Poisson's ratio of glassy PC up to 1.7 GPa. Many relaxation and elastic properties of PC can be qualitatively described by the soft-sphere or Lennard-Jones model. However, for the quantitative description of entire set of the experimental data, these models are insufficient. Moreover, the Poisson coefficient value for glassy PC indicates a significant contribution of non-central forces to the intermolecular potential. The well-known correlation between Poisson's ratio and fragility index (obtained from dielectric relaxation) is confirmed for PC at ambient pressure, but it is violated with pressure increase. This indicates that different features of the potential energy landscape are responsible for the evolution of dielectric response and elasticity with pressure increase.