Structural evolution on medium-range-order during the fragile-strong transition in Ge15Te85

Shuai Wei, Moritz Stolpe, Oliver Gross, William Hembree, Simon Hechler, Jozef Bednarcik, Ralf Busch, Pierre Lucas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Using synchrotron X-ray scattering, we investigate liquid Ge15Te85 spanning a wide temperature range from near Tg to the melt, and demonstrate that the density anomaly and fragile-strong transition are not only related to short-range-order (SRO) structural change (e.g. Peierls-like distortion), but also accompanied by a remarkable development of medium-range-order (MRO). The latter manifests as an emerging pre-peak in total structure factor S(Q) and atomic pair correlations on the length scale of ∼8 Å in the real space G(r) function. The results highlight the role of medium-range structural ordering in the evolution of the configurational entropy which, according to the Adam-Gibbs theory, can be linked to the fragile-strong transition (FS-transition). Based on the relation between structure and liquid dynamics, the FS-transitions at high pressures are examined in terms of experimental data and the Ehrenfest relation. This work identifies the length scale for the atomic correlations in MRO structural evolutions and presents a structural approach to exploring liquid dynamics, which may be useful for investigating relevant phase-change alloys.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-267
Number of pages9
JournalActa Materialia
StatePublished - May 1 2017


  • Deeply undercooled liquids
  • Medium-range-order (MRO)
  • Phase transition
  • Structure–property relationship
  • Thermodynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Metals and Alloys


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