Manipulation of Glassy State in Amorphous Selenium by Low-temperature Internal Friction Measurements
Journal Article - Open Access
NAVAL RESEARCH LAB WASHINGTON DC WASHINGTON United States
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We have studied the thickness and quench-rate dependent internal friction of amorphous selenium a-Se thin films deposited at room temperature. The internal friction of a-Se films exhibit a temperature independent plateau below 1 K followed by a broad maximum at 10 K. The plateau, which is seen in almost all amorphous solids, is caused by dissipation by two-level tunneling systems TLS, whose origin is still unknown. The maximum is caused by thermal relaxation over the same energy barrier that induces TLS. The internal friction and shear modulus are almost thickness independent from 100 nm to 10 mu m. Unlike other elemental amorphous materials, the sufficiently low glass transition temperature T-g of a-Se only about 10 K above room temperature allows in-situ quench-rate dependent study of TLS. The amorphous structure resets itself by a thermal equilibration cycle above T-g. We show that a faster quench rate freezes a-Se to a lower density structure with a higher TLS density and vice versa. The changes are reversible supporting a relationship between different quenched states and the density of TLS. Our study shows that a-Se can be a simple monatomic amorphous system to constrain models for the origin of TLS in amorphous solids.
- Solid State Physics