Rotational Mobility in a Crystal Studied by Dielectric Relaxation Spectroscopy. An Experiment for the Physical Chemistry laboratory

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In this article we present a laboratory experiment for an undergraduate physical chemistry course. The purpose of this experiment is the study of molecular mobility in a crystal using the technique of dielectric relaxation spectroscopy. The experiment illustrates important physical chemistry concepts. The background of the experimental technique deals with the concepts of orientational and induced polarization and frequency-dependent relative permittivity (or dielectric constant). The kinetic concepts of temperature-dependent relaxation time, activation energy, and activation entropy are involved in the concept of molecular mobility. Finally, the proposed laboratory experiment can be used in the undergraduate laboratory to illustrate a wide variety of topics with pedagogical interest: mesophases (plastic crystals and liquid crystals); motions in orientationally disordered crystals; phase transitions in solids; orientational glasses and orientational glass transition; and so forth.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)1335-1339
JournalJournal of Chemical Education
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005

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