Frontiers of Physics

, 12:126301 | Cite as

Role of disorder in determining the vibrational properties of mass-spring networks

  • Yunhuan Nie
  • Hua Tong
  • Jun Liu
  • Mengjie Zu
  • Ning Xu
Research article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Soft-Matter Physics and Complex Systems


By introducing four fundamental types of disorders into a two-dimensional triangular lattice separately, we determine the role of each type of disorder in the vibration of the resulting mass-spring networks. We are concerned mainly with the origin of the boson peak and the connection between the boson peak and the transverse Ioffe–Regel limit. For all types of disorders, we observe the emergence of the boson peak and Ioffe–Regel limits. With increasing disorder, the boson peak frequency ω BP , transverse Ioffe–Regel frequency ω IR T , and longitudinal Ioffe–Regel frequency ω IR L all decrease. We find that there are two ways for the boson peak to form: developing from and coexisting with (but remaining independent of) the transverse van Hove singularity without and with local coordination number fluctuation. In the presence of a single type of disorder, ω IR T ω BP , and ω IR T ω BP only when the disorder is sufficiently strong and causes spatial fluctuation of the local coordination number. Moreover, if there is no positional disorder, ω IR T ω IR L . Therefore, the argument that the boson peak is equivalent to the transverse Ioffe–Regel limit is not general. Our results suggest that both local coordination number and positional disorder are necessary for the argument to hold, which is actually the case for most disordered solids such as marginally jammed solids and structural glasses. We further combine two types of disorders to cause disorder in both the local coordination number and lattice site position. The density of vibrational states of the resulting networks resembles that of marginally jammed solids well. However, the relation between the boson peak and the transverse Ioffe–Regel limit is still indefinite and condition-dependent. Therefore, the interplay between different types of disorders is complicated, and more in-depth studies are required to sort it out.


disorder boson peak Ioffe–Regel limit amorphous solid 



This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 21325418 and 11574278), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Grant No. 2030020028). We also thank the Supercomputing Center of University of Science and Technology of China for computer times.


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Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yunhuan Nie
    • 1
  • Hua Tong
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jun Liu
    • 1
  • Mengjie Zu
    • 1
  • Ning Xu
    • 1
  1. 1.CAS Key Laboratory of Soft Matter Chemistry, Hefei National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at the Microscale and Department of PhysicsUniversity of Science and Technology of ChinaHefeiChina
  2. 2.Institute of Industrial ScienceUniversity of Tokyo, Meguro-kuTokyo 153-8505Japan

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