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Ultrastable Glasses: New Materials and New Insights

Glasses are ubiquitous across materials types and technological applications but their structure - property - processing relationships and underlying fundamental physics remain poorly understood. IRG 2 uses cross-fertilization of ideas and techniques for organic and inorganic glasses to design ultrastable glassy materials and use them to address these fundamental problems in glass science. These efforts include using physical vapor deposition to synthesize glassy thin films with widely varying stability, systematic coherent electron nanodiffraction to measure glass structure and dynamics, and high thermal ramp-rate calorimetry to investigate polyamorphism. Simulations and materials informatics guide the design of new glasses, and provide molecular-level insight into mechanical properties, thin film growth, and molecular motions. IRG 2 investigates both organic and inorganic glasses, including small molecules, metals, and ceramics, enabling identification of cross-cutting phenomena and mechanisms inherent to the glassy state.