Properties of kinetic transition networks for atomic clusters and glassy solids

03 Nov 2017

A database of minima and transition states corresponds to a network where the minima represent nodes and the transition states correspond to edges between the pairs of minima they connect via steepest-descent paths. Here we construct networks for small clusters bound by the Morse potential for a selection of physically relevant parameters, in two and three dimensions. The properties of these unweighted and undirected networks are analysed to examine two features: whether they are small-world, where the shortest path between nodes involves only a small number or edges; and whether they are scale-free, having a degree distribution that follows a power law. Small-world character is present, but statistical tests show that a power law is not a good fit, so the networks are not scale-free. These results for clusters are compared with the corresponding properties for the molecular and atomic structural glass formers ortho-terphenyl and binary Lennard-Jones. These glassy systems do not show small-world properties, suggesting that such behaviour is linked to the structure-seeking landscapes of the Morse clusters.