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Soft Matter and Biological Physics
Eur. Phys. J. E 9, 195-206 (2002)
DOI: 10.1140/epje/i2002-10084-2

Heterogeneous dynamics at the glass transition in van der Waals liquids: Determination of the characteristic scale

S. Merabia and D. Long

Laboratoire de Physique des Solides, Université de Paris XI, Bât. 510, 91405 Orsay Cédex, France


(Received 29 March 2002 and Received in final form 11 November 2002 / Published online: 23 December 2002)

Recent experiments have demonstrated that the dynamics in liquids close to the glass transition temperature is strongly heterogeneous. The characteristic size of these heterogeneities has been measured to be a few nanometers at $T_{\rm g}$. We extend here a recent model for describing the heterogeneous nature of the dynamics which allows both to derive this length scale and the right orders of magnitude of the heterogeneities of the dynamics close to the glass transition. Our model allows then to interpret quantitatively small probes diffusion experiments.

64.70.Pf - Glass transitions.
61.41.+e - Polymers, elastomers and plastics.
68.15.+e - Liquid thin films.

© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag 2002