Relationship between topological order and glass forming ability in densely packed enstatite and forsterite composition glasses

KOHARA, S., AKOLA, J., MORITA, H., SUZUYA, K., WEBER, J. K. R., WILDING, Martin and BENMORE, C. J. (2011). Relationship between topological order and glass forming ability in densely packed enstatite and forsterite composition glasses. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) ISSN 1091-6490, 108 (36), 14780-14785.

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The atomic structures of magnesium silicate melts are key to understanding processes related to the evolution of the Earth’s mantle and represent precursors to the formation of most igneous rocks. Magnesium silicate compositions also represent a major component of many glass ceramics, and depending on their composition can span the entire fragility range of glass formation. The silica rich enstatite (MgSiO3) composition is a good glass former, whereas the forsterite (Mg2SiO4) composition is at the limit of glass formation. Here, the structure of MgSiO3 and Mg2SiO4 composition glasses obtained from levitated liquids have been modeled using Reverse Monte Carlo fits to diffraction data and by density functional theory. A ring statistics analysis suggests that the lower glass forming ability of the Mg2SiO4 glass is associated with a topologically ordered and very narrow ring distribution. The MgOx polyhedra have a variety of irregular shapes in MgSiO3 and Mg2SiO4 glasses and a cavity analysis demonstrates that both glasses have almost no free volume due to a large contribution from edge sharing of MgOx-MgOx polyhedra. It is found that while the atomic volume of Mg cations in the glasses increases compared to that of the crystalline phases, the number of Mg-O contacts is reduced, although the effective chemical interaction of Mg2+ remains similar. This unusual structure-property relation of Mg2SiO4 glass demonstrates that by using containerless processing it may be possible to synthesize new families of dense glasses and glass ceramics with zero porosity.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Materials and Engineering Research Institute > Engineering Research
Departments: Faculty of Science, Technology and Arts > Department of Engineering and Mathematics
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Depositing User: Martin Wilding
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2018 09:21
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2018 09:21

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