Analysis of local bond-orientational order for liquid gallium at ambient pressure: Two types of cluster structures

Lin Yuan Chen, Ping Han Tang, Ten-Ming Wu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

In terms of the local bond-orientational order (LBOO) parameters, a cluster approach to analyze local structures of simple liquids was developed. In this approach, a cluster is defined as a combination of neighboring seeds having at least nb local-orientational bonds and their nearest neighbors, and a cluster ensemble is a collection of clusters with a specified nb and number of seeds ns. This cluster analysis was applied to investigate the microscopic structures of liquid Ga at ambient pressure (AP). The liquid structures studied were generated through ab initio molecular dynamics simulations. By scrutinizing the static structure factors (SSFs) of cluster ensembles with different combinations of nb and ns, we found that liquid Ga at AP contained two types of cluster structures, one characterized by sixfold orientational symmetry and the other showing fourfold orientational symmetry. The SSFs of cluster structures with sixfold orientational symmetry were akin to the SSF of a hard-sphere fluid. On the contrary, the SSFs of cluster structures showing fourfold orientational symmetry behaved similarly as the anomalous SSF of liquid Ga at AP, which is well known for exhibiting a high-q shoulder. The local structures of a highly LBOO cluster whose SSF displayed a high-q shoulder were found to be more similar to the structure of β-Ga than those of other solid phases of Ga. More generally, the cluster structures showing fourfold orientational symmetry have an inclination to resemble more to β-Ga.

Original languageEnglish
Article number024506
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Volume145
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 14 Jul 2016

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