Amorphous sulfur was prepared by rapid compression of liquid sulfur at temperatures above the λ-transition for to preserve the high-temperature liquid structure. We conducted synchrotron high-energy X-ray diffraction and Raman spectroscopy to diagnose the structural evolution of amorphous sulfur from room temperature to post-λ-transition temperature. Discontinuous changes of the first and second peaks in atomic pair-distribution-function, g(r), were observed during the transition from amorphous to liquid sulfur. The average first-neighbor coordination numbers showed an abrupt drop from 1.92 to 1.81. The evolution of the chain length clearly shows that the transition was accompanied by polymeric chains breaking. Furthermore, a re-entry of the λ-transition structure was involved in the heating process. The amorphous sulfur, which inherits the post-λ-transition structure from its parent melts, transformed to the pre-λ-transition liquid structure at around 391 K. Upon further heating, the pre-λ-transition liquid transformed to a post-λ-transition structure through the well-known λ-transition process. This discovery offers a new perspective on amorphous sulfur’s structural inheritance from its parent liquid and has implications for understanding the structure, evolution and properties of amorphous sulfur and its liquids.
Scientific Reports – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 14, 2018
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