(332e) Exploring the Energy Landscape of Soft Glassy Systems
AIChE Annual Meeting
Tuesday, November 9, 2021 - 2:02pm to 2:21pm
The dynamics and structure of systems beyond the glass and jamming transition have been of interest for a long time due to their importance in a wide range of fields. Molecular glasses are essential active layers in organic light-emitting diodes, while the phenomena of jamming is important in dense emulsions and granular flows. The slow dynamics and complexity of theses systems has restricted the ability to simulate them using conventional methods, particularly at low temperatures or high volume fractions. The properties of the low energy states are of particular importance to answering many fundamental questions surrounding the glass transition and in connecting simulation results to experiments. In this study, we use an energy landscape based approach to probe the low-energy inherent structures and provide an algorithm to drive the system to lower energy states. The algorithm is inspired by metadynamics, and proceeds as a high dimensional basin filing algorithm that allows us to explore the energy landscape of a model soft-sphere foam system. We demonstrate the ability of the algorithm to reach low energies while revealing interesting geometric characteristics about the nature of the landscape. We study how connected metabasins are organized relative to a starting energy minimum and their orientations relative to each other. Finally, we compare our method with conventionally used methods like simulated annealing and swap Monte Carlo and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each.