The calorimetric glass transition and dielectric dynamics of -relaxation in propylene glycol (PG) and its five oligomers (polypropylene glycol, PPG) have been investigated by the modulated differential scanning calorimetry (MDSC) and the broadband dielectric spectroscopy. From the temperature dependence of heat capacity of PPGs, it is clarified that the glass transition temperature (Tg) and the glass transition region are affected by the heating rate. The kinetic changes of PG and PPGs near Tg strongly depend on the underlying heating rate. With increasing the molecular mass of PPGs, the fragility derived from the relaxation time against temperature also increases. The PG monomer is stronger than its oligomers, PPGs, because of the larger number density of the —OH end group which tends to construct the intermolecular network structure. Adam-Gibbs (AG) theory could still hold for MDSC results due to the fact that the dielectric relaxation time can be related to the configurational entropy.
Through structural relaxation, the configuration of a viscous liquid changes to allow the Gibbs free energy to be minimum
in response to temperature variations. In this review, the practical importance of relaxation in silicate melts is first illustrated
by configurational heat capacity and entropy and their connection with viscosity via Adam-Gibbs theory. Relaxation effects
on thermal expansion and compressibility are then examined, and the similarity of the kinetics of structural, enthalpy and
volume relaxation is pointed out. Turning to microscopic mechanisms, we finally stress the importance of Si-O bond exchange
and its decoupling with the motion of network-modifying elements near the glass transition.