4 Pages

Glasslike transition of a confined simple fluid

The literature is conflicting on the question whether the observed reduction of molecular mobility, as a fluid is con­ fined in one or more directions between solid surfaces to be molecularly thin, stems from a phase transition [1-16]. For fluid particles of regular shape, some interpretations show the possibility of surface-induced crystallization [37], others of a glass transition [9-11], both at tempera­ tures well above the respective bulk transition temperature. This problem, with ramifications in tribology [14], geology [17], and biology [18], is important to decide in order to resolve the senses in which confinement-induced solidity has a thermodynamic or kinetic origin. It is unsatisfactory that the same basic experiment [1,13-16] has been inter­ preted in both terms.