Boson Peak Decouples from Elasticity in Glasses with Low Connectivity

Phys Rev Lett. 2018 Nov 2;121(18):185502. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.185502.


We perform molecular-dynamics simulations of the vibrational and elastoplastic properties of polymeric glasses and crystals and the corresponding atomic systems. We evidence that the elastic scaling of the density of states in the low-frequency boson peak (BP) region is different in crystals and glasses. Also, we see that the BP of the polymeric glass is nearly coincident with the one of the atomic glasses, thus revealing that the former-unlike the elasticity-is controlled by nonbonding interactions only. Our results suggest that the interpretation of the BP in terms of the macroscopic elasticity, discussed in highly connected systems, does not hold for systems with low connectivity.