Fast-tracking the manufacture of glasses

Jun 29, 2010

Old glass is not the same as new glass -- and the difference is not just due to manufacturing techniques. Unlike crystalline solids, glasses change as they age, increasing packing density and stability. Ideally, a glass should be cooled slowly, maybe over 10,000 years or so, but that is not usually practical.

Research reported in the details the production of highly stable films of by physical vapor deposition. Researchers used alternating current nanocalorimetry to evaluate the heat capacity of the thin glass films. Heat capacity provides a way to probe the fundamental structure of the solid because it is related to particle vibrations. Heat capacity values were observed that are the equivalent to significantly aged conventional glasses.

"We like to call these glasses 'impossible materials' because their properties match things that would take a million years to manufacture using conventional techniques," says author Mark Ediger. The research is an international collaboration combining "interesting materials" from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a "cool technology" from the University of Rostock, Germany.

Ediger sees potential application of these techniques in manufacturing organic electronic devices such a photovoltaics. Current devices tend to wear out faster than manufacturers would like. "I am optimistic that we are learning to manipulate properties in a predictable way," he says. "If we can make an organic electronic material in ten minutes that would otherwise take a million years to prepare, we can manufacture things that people would not have considered before."

Explore further: Researchers develop scalable methods for manufacturing metamaterials

More information: The article, "Observation of low heat capacities for vapor-deposited glasses of indomethacin as determined by AC nanocalorimetry" by Kenneth L. Kearns et al will appear in the Journal of Chemical Physics. See: jcp.aip.org/

Provided by American Institute of Physics

5 /5 (5 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Metallic Glass Yields Secrets Under Pressure

Mar 16, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Metallic glasses are emerging as potentially useful materials at the frontier of materials science research. They combine the advantages and avoid many of the problems of normal metals and ...

Rare earth metal enhances phosphate glass

Dec 15, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Adding cerium oxide to phosphate glass rather than the commonly used silicate glass may make glasses that block ultraviolet light and have increased radiation damage resistance while remaining colorless, ...

On the way to the perfect glass

May 27, 2005

Researchers from the United Kingdom, France and the DUBBLE beamline at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) have made a step forward in research on glass. They have monitored the change in the ...

Recommended for you

Novel technique opens door to better solar cells

Apr 14, 2014

A team of scientists, led by Assistant Professor Andrivo Rusydi from the Department of Physics at the National University of Singapore's (NUS) Faculty of Science, has successfully developed a technique to ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur

Sulfur left over from refining fossil fuels can be transformed into cheap, lightweight, plastic lenses for infrared devices, including night-vision goggles, a University of Arizona-led international team ...

Could 'Jedi Putter' be the force golfers need?

Putting is arguably the most important skill in golf; in fact, it's been described as a game within a game. Now a team of Rice engineering students has devised a training putter that offers golfers audio, ...

Continents may be a key feature of Super-Earths

Huge Earth-like planets that have both continents and oceans may be better at harboring extraterrestrial life than those that are water-only worlds. A new study gives hope for the possibility that many super-Earth ...

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

(Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem ...