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Characterizing pressure induced structural changes in glasses and liquids

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The behaviors of various amorphous materials are characterized at high pressures to deduce phase transitions, coordination changes, densification, and other structural or electronic alterations in the system. Alongside, improvements on

The behaviors of various amorphous materials are characterized at high pressures to deduce phase transitions, coordination changes, densification, and other structural or electronic alterations in the system. Alongside, improvements on high pressure techniques are presented to measure equations of state of glassy materials and probe liquids using in-situ high resolution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. 27Al NMR is used to quantify coordination changes in CaAl2O4 glass pressure cycled to 16 GPa. The structure and coordination environments remain unchanged up to 8 GPa at which 93% of the recovered glass exists as 4-fold Al, whereas the remaining population exists as [5,6]Al. Upon densification, [5,6]Al comprise nearly 30% of observed Al, most likely through the generation of 3-coordinated oxygen. A method to determine the volumetric equation of state of amorphous solids using optical microscopy in a diamond anvil cell is also described. The method relies on two dimensional image acquisition and analysis to quantify changes in the projected image area with compression. The area analysis method is used to determine the compression of cubic crystals, yielding results in good agreement with diffraction and volumetric measurements. A NMR probe capable of reaching 3 GPa is built to understand the nature of magnetic field gradients and improve upon the resolution of high pressure studies conducted in a diamond anvil cell. Field gradients in strength up to 6 G/cm are caused largely by mismatches in the magnetic susceptibility between the sample and gasket, which is proven to shift the chemical shift distribution by use of several different metallic gaskets. Polyamorphic behavior in triphenyl phosphite is studied at pressures up to 0.7 GPa to elucidate the formation of the glacial phase at high pressures. A perceived liquid-liquid phase transition is shown to follow a positive Clapeyron slope, and closely follows the predicted glass transition line up to 0.4 GPa and temperatures below 270 K. A drastic change in morphology is indicative of a transformation from liquid I to liquid II and followed by optical microscopy.

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Date Created
  • 2012

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Two-dimensional glasses

Description

The structure of glass has been the subject of many studies, however some

details remained to be resolved. With the advancement of microscopic

imaging techniques and the successful synthesis of two-dimensional materials,

images

The structure of glass has been the subject of many studies, however some

details remained to be resolved. With the advancement of microscopic

imaging techniques and the successful synthesis of two-dimensional materials,

images of two-dimensional glasses (bilayers of silica) are now available,

confirming that this glass structure closely follows the continuous random

network model. These images provide complete in-plane structural information

such as ring correlations, and intermediate range order and with computer

refinement contain indirect information such as angular distributions, and

tilting.

This dissertation reports the first work that integrates the actual atomic

coordinates obtained from such images with structural refinement to enhance

the extracted information from the experimental data.

The correlations in the ring structure of silica bilayers are studied

and it is shown that short-range and intermediate-range order exist in such networks.

Special boundary conditions for finite experimental samples are designed so atoms

in the bulk sense they are part of an infinite network.

It is shown that bilayers consist of two identical layers separated by a

symmetry plane and the tilted tetrahedra, two examples of

added value through the structural refinement.

Finally, the low-temperature properties of glasses in two dimensions

are studied. This dissertation presents a new approach to find possible

two-level systems in silica bilayers employing the tools of rigidity theory

in isostatic systems.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018