Impact of network topology on cationic diffusion and hardness of borate glass surfaces

Morten M. Smedskjaer, John C. Mauro, Sabyasachi Sen, Joachim Deubener, Yuanzheng Yue

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44 Scopus citations


The connection between bulk glass properties and network topology is now well established. However, there has been little attention paid to the impact of network topology on the surface properties of glass. In this work, we report the impact of the network topology on both the transport properties (such as cationic inward diffusion) and the mechanical properties (such as hardness) of borate glasses with modified surfaces. We choose soda lime borate systems as the object of this study because of their interesting topological features, e.g., boron anomaly. An inward diffusion mechanism is employed to modify the glass surface compositions and hence the surface topology. We show that accurate quantitative predictions of the hardness of the modified surfaces can be made using topological constraint theory with temperature-dependent constraints. Experimental results reveal that Ca2+ diffusion is most intense in glasses with lowest BO4 fraction, whereas Na+ diffusion is only significant when nonbridging oxygens start to form. These phenomena are interpreted in terms of the atomic packing and the local electrostatic environments of the cations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number154509
JournalJournal of Chemical Physics
Issue number15
StatePublished - Oct 21 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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