Water-like anomalies as a function of tetrahedrality

John Russo, Kenji Akahane, Hajime Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)
219 Downloads (Pure)


Tetrahedral interactions describe the behaviour of the most abundant and technologically important materials on Earth, such as water, silicon, carbon, germanium, and countless others. Despite their differences, these materials share unique common physical behaviours, such as liquid anomalies, open crystalline structures, and extremely poor glass-forming ability at ambient pressure. To reveal the physical origin of these anomalies and their link to the shape of the phase diagram, we systematically study the properties of the Stillinger-Weber potential as a function of the strength of the tetrahedral interaction λ. We uncover a new transition to a re-entrant spinodal line at low values of λ, ccompanied with a change in the dynamical behaviour, from Non-Arrhenius to Arrhenius. We then show that a two-state model can provide a comprehensive understanding on how the thermodynamic and dynamic anomalies of this important class of materials depend on the strength of the tetrahedral interaction. Our work establishes a deep link between the shape of phase diagram and the thermodynamic and dynamic properties through local structural ordering in liquids, and hints at why water is so special among all substances.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E3333-E3341
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number15
Early online date26 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2018


  • tetrahedral liquids
  • water’s anomalies
  • water-type liquids
  • two-state model
  • modified Stillinger-Weber potential


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