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Details of Grant 

Capital costs for equipment are added to the institutional equipment account of the holding institution. Institutional equipment accounts therefore indicate the cumulative amount awarded to that institution. Recurrent costs directly associated with equipment are awarded through a separate grant. For a full record of awards made by the EPSRC Equipment Business Case panels see: http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/research/ourportfolio/themes/researchinfrastructure/subthemes/equipment/supported/

EPSRC Reference: EP/J014478/1
Title: University of Glasgow - Equipment Account
Principal Investigator: Calder, Professor M
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Boston University Queen's University of Belfast
Department: School of Chemistry
Organisation: University of Glasgow
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 November 2011 Ends: 31 October 2021 Value (£): 3,634,040
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
18 Oct 2011 EPSRC Equipment Business Case October 2011 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The peculiar behaviour of liquid and supercooled water has been baffling science for at least 236 years and is still seen as a major challenge facing chemistry today (Whitesides & Deutch, Nature 469, 21 (2011)). In the 1970s and 1990s, it was suggested that such strange behaviour might be caused by thermodynamic transitions, possibly even a second critical point. This second critical point would terminate a coexistence line between low- and high-density amorphous phases of water. Unfortunately, this second critical point (if it exists) and the associated polyamorphic liquid-liquid transition is difficult to study as it is thought to lie below the homogeneous nucleation temperature in a region known as "no man's land" (Angell, Science 319, 582 (2008)).

Recent work, notably by Hajime Tanaka of the University of Tokyo (see, for example, Nature Communications 1, 16 (2010)) has suggested that such a second critical point and the associated liquid-liquid transition might be much more common. In fact, liquid-liquid transitions have now been observed in a range of highly interacting atomic liquids such as phosphorus, gallium, silicon, germanium, and bismuth, and even in supercooled Y2O3-Al2O3. Theoretical considerations (independently by the groups of Hajime Tanaka and Eugene Stanley) suggest that liquid-liquid transitions should be very common even in molecular liquids. However, the only molecular liquid in which such a transition is now well established is triphenyl phosphite, which has been studied by Tanaka. Unfortunately, the effect is only observed when the liquid is deeply supercooled and extremely viscous. This precludes a detailed and definitive study of the phenomenon and has led to considerable controversy.

In preliminary work, we have discovered the presence of a liquid-liquid transition in a few simple organic liquids above their melting point where the viscosity is low. This will allow a unique series of comprehensive studies of the liquid-liquid transition involving repeated thermal cycling through the transition.

A number of experimental techniques will be used providing access to dynamics from femtosecond to kiloseconds and structure from molecular to macroscopic scales. Spectroscopic imaging techniques will be used to provide insight into molecular interactions and molecular-scale environments and their association with the liquid-liquid transition. This will allow detailed comparison with theoretical models and will give unprecedented insight into the physical origin of these phenomena and allow manipulation and control in future applications. To ensure maximum impact of the experimental work, it is critical to have strong ties with experts in the theory and simulation of LLTs and we have secured the collaboration of H. Eugene Stanley.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Organisation Website: http://www.gla.ac.uk