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Ultrastrong Translucent Glass Ceramic with Nanocrystalline, Biomimetic Structure.

A new interesting article has been published in Nano Lett. 2018 Oct 23. doi: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.8b03220. [Epub ahead of print] and titled:

Ultrastrong Translucent Glass Ceramic with Nanocrystalline, Biomimetic Structure.

Authors of this article are:

Fu L, Xie L, Fu W, Hu S, Zhang Z, Leifer K, Engqvist H, Xia W.

A summary of the article is shown below:

Transparent/translucent glass ceramics (GCs) have broad applications in biomedicine, armor, energy, and constructions. However, GCs with improved optical properties typically suffer from impaired mechanical properties, compared to traditional sintered full-ceramics. We present a method of obtaining high-strength, translucent GCs by preparing ZrO2-SiO2 nanocrystalline glass ceramics (NCGCs) with a microstructure of monocrystalline ZrO2 nanoparticles (NPs), embedded in an amorphous SiO2 matrix. The ZrO2-SiO2 NCGC with a composition of 65%ZrO/35%SiO2 (molar ratio, 65Zr) achieved an average flexural strength of 1 GPa. This is one of the highest flexural strength values ever reported for GCs. ZrO2 NPs bond strongly with SiO2 matrix due to the formation of a thin (2-3 nm) amorphous Zr/Si interfacial layer between the ZrO2 NPs and SiO2 matrix. The diffusion of Si atoms into the ZrO2 NPs forms a Zr-O-Si superlattice. Electron tomography results show that some of the ZrO2 NPs are connected in one direction, forming in situ ZrO2 nanofibers (with length of ∼500 nm), and that the ZrO2 nanofibers are stacked in an ordered way in all three dimensions. The nanoarchitecture of the ZrO2 nanofibers mimics the architecture of mineralized collagen fibril in cortical bone. Strong interface bonding enables efficient load transfer from the SiO2 matrix to the 3D nanoarchitecture built by ZrO2 nanofibers and NPs, and the 3D nanoarchitecture carries the majority of the external load. These two factors synergistically contribute to the high strength of the 65Zr NCGC. This study deepens our fundamental understanding of the microstructure-mechanical strength relationship, which could guide the design and manufacture of other high-strength, translucent GCs.

Check out the article’s website on Pubmed for more information:



This article is a good source of information and a good way to become familiar with topics such as:

3D nanoarchitecture;Glass ceramic;biomimetic structure;electron tomography;high strength;translucency

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