Structural rearrangements govern the various properties of disordered systems and visualization of these dynamical processes can provide critical information on structural deformation and phase transformation of the systems. However, direct imaging of individual atoms or molecules in a disordered state is quite challenging. Here, we prepare a model molecular system of C70 molecules on graphene and directly visualize the structural and dynamical evolution using aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopy. E-beam irradiation stimulates dynamics of fullerene molecules, which results in the first-order like structural transformation from the molecular crystal to molecular liquid. The real-time tracking of individual molecules using an automatic molecular identification process elucidates the relaxation behavior of a stretched exponential functional form. Moreover, the directly observed heterogeneous dynamics bear similarity to the dynamical heterogeneity in supercooled liquids near the glass transition. Fullerenes on graphene can serve as a new model system, which allows investigation of molecular dynamics in disordered phases.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)