What is it about?

The structure of silica glass is systematically engineered by controlling the processing conditions. The structural change, which is best characterized by using the emergent method of persistent homology, leads to a profound alteration to the thermodynamic and dynamical properties of the material.

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Why is it important?

Our work is important because it (i) provides a clear pathway for describing structural disorder (via persistent homology) that can be mapped during the transformation from a structurally disordered to ordered state, (ii) provides a methodology for exploring the structural change associated with crystal nucleation and thereby the manufacture, e.g., of glass-ceramic materials, and (iii) proves that the glass structure affects the dynamics and thermodynamics, i.e., the low-frequency glass dynamics is not merely a smeared-out version of the same-density crystalline state.

Perspectives

A comprehensive investigation of a prototypical glass by scientists and technologists on three continents.

Professor Philip S Salmon
University of Bath

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This page is a summary of: Structure and properties of densified silica glass: characterizing the order within disorder, NPG Asia Materials, December 2020, Springer Science + Business Media, DOI: 10.1038/s41427-020-00262-z.
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