We use a newly-developed method to identify local structural motifs in a popular model glassformer, the Kob-Andersen binary Lennard-Jones mixture. By measuring the lifetimes of a zoo of clusters, we find that 11-membered bicapped square antiprisms, denoted as 11A, have longer lifetimes on average than other structures considered. Other long-lived clusters are similar in structure to the 11A cluster. These clusters group into ramified networks that are correlated with slow particles and act to retard the motion of neighbouring particles. The structural lengthscale associated with these networks does not grow as fast as the dynamical lengthscale as the system is cooled, in the range of temperatures our molecular dynamics simulations access. Thus we find a strong, but indirect, correlation between static structural ordering and slow dynamics.
A. Malins, J. Eggers, H. Tanaka & C. P. Royall
Faraday Discussions 167, 405 (2013)