Nonequilibrium static growing length scales in supercooled liquids on approaching the glass transition
The small wavenumber k behavior of the structure factor S(k) of overcompressed amorphous hard-sphere configurations was previously studied for a wide range of densities up to the maximally random jammed state, which can be viewed as a prototypical glassy state [A. Hopkins, F. H. Stillinger, and S. Torquato, Phys. Rev. E 86, 021505 (2012)]10.1103/PhysRevE.86.021505. It was found that a precursor to the glassy jammed state was evident long before the jamming density was reached as measured by a growing nonequilibrium length scale extracted from the volume integral of the direct correlation function c(r), which becomes long-ranged as the critical jammed state is reached. The present study extends that work by investigating via computer simulations two different atomic models: the single-component Z2 Dzugutov potential in three dimensions and the binary-mixture Kob-Andersen potential in two dimensions. Consistent with the aforementioned hard-sphere study, we demonstrate that for both models a signature of the glass transition is apparent well before the transition temperature is reached as measured by the length scale determined from the volume integral of the direct correlation function in the single-component case and a generalized direct correlation function in the binary-mixture case. The latter quantity is obtained from a generalized Ornstein-Zernike integral equation for a certain decoration of the atomic point configuration. We also show that these growing length scales, which are a consequence of the long-range nature of the direct correlation functions, are intrinsically nonequilibrium in nature as determined by an index X that is a measure of the deviation from thermal equilibrium. It is also demonstrated that this nonequilibrium index, which increases upon supercooling, is correlated with a characteristic relaxation time scale.