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Elucidating structural rearrangements during glass relaxation and crystallization

Grant number: 19/26399-3
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2020
Effective date (End): October 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Materials and Metallurgical Engineering
Principal Investigator:Edgar Dutra Zanotto
Grantee:Henrik Bradtmüller
Home Institution: Centro de Ciências Exatas e de Tecnologia (CCET). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:13/07793-6 - CEPIV - Center for Teaching, Research and Innovation in Glass, AP.CEPID

Abstract

Glasses are a class of materials with fundamental importance for humankind stemming from numerous basic and high-technology applications. Due to the wide spectrum of attainable physical and mechanical properties glass research receives considerable attention from both private enterprises and academic research facilities worldwide. Despite all efforts, the characterization of these thermodynamically unstable materials remains inherently challenging. The lack of long-range structural order renders applications of the powerful X-Ray diffraction futile. In pursuit of fully grasping glass structure, local ordering on the sub-nanometer length scale has to be probed, however, currently there are only few suitable methodological means to this end. Even though significant progress in the understanding of glass structure has been made in the last decades, dynamic processes and structural rearrangements occurring during the thermal relaxation or crystallization of glasses are especially poorly understood. Recent studies point out the special role of the intermediate-range order in glasses - i.e., structural order in dimensions between about 0.3 to 0.5 nm - to give potentially crucial insights into devitrification processes. In order to improve the fundamental understanding of this problem, we propose an interdisciplinary approach, combining Raman and advanced solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopies with molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Finally, the especially challenging elucidation of intermediate-range order for network-modifier species now moves into grasp, using NMR methods recently elaborated by the applicant. (AU)