Calorimetric and relaxation properties of xylitol-water mixtures
Journal article, 2012
We present the first broadband dielectric spectroscopy (BDS) and differential scanning calorimetry study of supercooled xylitol-water mixtures in the whole concentration range and in wide frequency (10(-2)-10(6) Hz) and temperature (120-365 K) ranges. The calorimetric glass transition, T-g, decreases from 247 K for pure xylitol to about 181 K at a water concentration of approximately 37 wt. %. At water concentrations in the range 29-35 wt. % a plentiful calorimetric behaviour is observed. In addition to the glass transition, almost simultaneous crystallization and melting events occurring around 230-240 K. At higher water concentrations ice is formed during cooling and the glass transition temperature increases to a steady value of about 200 K for all higher water concentrations. This Tg corresponds to an unfrozen xylitol-water solution containing 20 wt. % water. In addition to the true glass transition we also observed a glass transition-like feature at 220 K for all the ice containing samples. However, this feature ismore likely due to ice dissolution [A. Inaba and O. Andersson, Thermochim. Acta, 461, 44 (2007)]. In the case of the BDS measurements the presence of water clearly has an effect on both the cooperative a-relaxation and the secondary beta-relaxation. The a-relaxation shows a non-Arrhenius temperature dependence and becomes faster with increasing concentration of water. The fragility of the solutions, determined by the temperature dependence of the a-relaxation close to the dynamic glass transition, decreases with increasing water content up to about 26 wt. % water, where ice starts to form. This decrease in fragility with increasing water content is most likely caused by the increasing density of hydrogen bonds, forming a network-like structure in the deeply supercooled regime. The intensity of the secondary beta-relaxation of xylitol decreases noticeably already at a water content of 2 wt. %, and at a water content above 5 wt. % it has been replaced by a considerably stronger water (w) relaxation at about the same frequency. However, the similarities in time scale and activation energy between the w-relaxation and the beta-relaxation of xylitol at water contents below 13 wt. % suggest that the w-relaxation is governed, in some way, by the beta-relaxation of xylitol, since clusters of water molecules are rare at these water concentrations. At higher water concentrations the intensity and relaxation rate of the w-relaxation increase rapidly with increasing water content (up to the concentration where ice starts to form), most likely due to a rapid increase of small water clusters where an increasing number of water molecules interacting with other water molecules.