The Science & Technology
of Glass
Cambridge - Monday 4th to
Wednesday 6th September 2017

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article posted 07 August 2017

Dr Gavin Mountjoy is a Reader in Condensed Matter Physics at the University of Kent. During his research career he has worked at the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, the Center for Solid State Science, Arizona State University, and the Functional Materials Group, University of Cagliari. Gavin is a long-standing member of the School of Physical Sciences, University of Kent, including previously held roles of Director of Teaching and Deputy Head of School. His research involves structural characterization techniques of electron microscopy, x-ray spectroscopy, x-ray and neutron scattering, and molecular dynamics modelling. He is primarily interested in applying these techniques to nanocomposites and amorphous solids, especially oxide glasses, with applications in optics, as energy materials, or as biomaterials.

Squeezing glass
Gavin Mountjoy*, Lucy M. Morgan, and Dean C. Sayle
School of Physical Sciences, University of Kent, Canterbury CT2 7NH, U.K.

Glass is fragile due to poor fracture toughness, and yet glass products can display great flexibility. Examples include optical fibres and the new “Willow Glass” from Corning. The response of solids to stress can be described in the framework of elastic and plastic deformation. This work builds on previous studies by the author involving large atomistic models of Mg, Ca and Ba silicate glasses. Molecular dynamics is used to simulate large degree of strain in both tension and compression (see Figure 1). The elastic moduli obtained are approximately 80% of reported experimental values. Inspection of the models provides a means to study changes in local atomic environment associated with elastic and plastic deformations.

Figure 1: approximately 7 nm model of barium metasilicate glass before and after large degree of strain in compression.