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Modulated differential scanning calorimetry in the glass transition region

II. The mathematical treatment of the kinetics of the glass transition

Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry
Authors: B. Wunderlich, A. Boller, I. Okazaki, and S. Kreitmeier

Temperature-modulated differential scanning calorimetry (TMDSC) is based on heat flow and represents a linear system for the measurement of heat capacity. As long as the measurements are carried out close to steady state and only a negligible temperature gradient exists within the sample, quantitative data can be gathered as a function of modulation frequency. Applied to the glass transition, such measurements permit the determination the kinetic parameters of the material. Based on either the hole theory of liquids or irreversible thermodynamics, the necessary equations are derived to describe the apparent heat capacity as a function of frequency.

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Thermal analysis by classical molecular dynamics simulations is discussed on hand of heat capacity of crystals of 9600 atoms. The differences between quantum mechanical and classical mechanical calculations are shown. Anharmonicity is proven to be an important factor. Finally, it is found that defects contribute to an increase in heat capacity before melting. The energy of conformational gauche defects within the crystal is only about 10% due to internal rotation. The other energy must be generated by cooperative strain. The conclusion is that the next generation of faster computers may permit wider use of molecular dynamics simulations in support of the interpretation of thermal analysis.

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