Localized diffusive motion on two different time scales in solid alkane nanoparticles

S. K. Wang, E. Mamontov, M. Bai, Flemming Yssing Hansen, H. Taub, J.R.D. Copley, V.G. Sakai, G. Gasparovic, T. Jenkins, M. Tyagi, K.W. Herwig, D.A. Neumann, W. Montfrooij, U.G. Volkmann

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


High-energy-resolution quasielastic neutron scattering on three complementary spectrometers has been used to investigate molecular diffusive motion in solid nano- to bulk-sized particles of the alkane n-C32H66. The crystalline-to-plastic and plastic-to-fluid phase transition temperatures are observed to decrease as the particle size decreases. In all samples, localized molecular diffusive motion in the plastic phase occurs on two different time scales: a "fast" motion corresponding to uniaxial rotation about the long molecular axis; and a "slow" motion attributed to conformational changes of the molecule. Contrary to the conventional interpretation in bulk alkanes, the fast uniaxial rotation begins in the low-temperature crystalline phase.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)66007
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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