Classical molecular dynamics simulations are used to investigate the fracture mechanism, intrinsic strength, strain at failure and elastic modulus of silica and soda-silicate bulk glasses and nanowires. The latter have been generated by using a new casting approach described in this paper for the first time. The results show that large systems have to be used to reproduce the brittle fracture mechanism of silicate glasses; the appropriate dimensions of the simulation boxes depend on the glass composition. Whereas for silica glass an ideal brittle fracture is observed with models containing 30k atoms, for soda-silicate glasses models with more than 60k atoms should be used. Glasses containing nanovoids and atomic defects (such as under- and overcoordinated silicon and oxygen atoms) are less brittle than flaw-free bulk glasses. The main finding, shown here for the first time, is that the presence of atomic defects and/or modifier cations allows the material to rearrange its structure and absorb the stresses caused by mechanical deformation, the former by transforming from high energy point defects to more stable configurations and the latter by saturating NBOs formed during the gradual breaking of the Si–O bonds that starts soon after the strain at failure is reached. In general, silica nanowires are characterized by lower mechanical properties with respect to bulk models because of the slightly higher amount of atomic defects (3-fold Si, nonbridging oxygens, and small rings) on their surfaces compared to that found in bulk glasses. These defects are not present in soda-silicate nanowires whose surfaces are rich in sodium ions that compensate the negative charge of nonbridging oxygens.
|Data di pubblicazione:||2015|
|Titolo:||Dynamics of Fracture in Silica and Soda-Silicate Glasses: From Bulk Materials to Nanowires|
|Autori:||Pedone, Alfonso; Menziani, Maria Cristina; Cormack, Alastair N.|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1021/acs.jpcc.5b08657|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Articolo su rivista|
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