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Relaxations in the metastable rotator phase of n-eicosane
19.P. Espeau, L. Roblès, D. Mondieig, Y. Haget, M. A. Cuevas-Diarte, and H. A. J. Oonk, J. Chim. Phys. Phys.-Chim. Biol. 93, 1217 (1996).
31.J. Pak, Doctoral dissertation, The University of Tennessee, 2001.
33.G. Höhne, W. F. Hemminger, and H.-J. Flammersheim, Differential Scanning Calorimetry, 2nd ed. (Springer, Berlin, 2003).
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We present relaxations in the metastable rotator phase of the n-alkane eicosane (C20H42). The relaxation times found by calorimetry increase with increasing temperature on approaching the melting temperature of the rotator phase. This is the opposite behavior than the one found for classical activated processes. The relaxation behavior found by calorimetry is confirmed by investigations of the lattice structure with X-ray diffraction. It is shown that one lattice parameter of the orthorhombic phase relaxes on the same time scales found in calorimetry, whereas another lattice parameter reacts almost instantly on temperature perturbations. Increasing cooperativity for the creation of conformational defects in the alkane chains is proposed to be responsible for the observed behaviour.
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