Researchers at Brazil's Federal University of São Carlos and the Center for Research, Education and Innovation in Vitreous Materials (CeRTEV) used nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and computational modeling to demonstrate silica network polymerization by adding niobium oxide (Nb2O5) to silicate glass.
This improves the mechanical and thermal stability of specialty glass by increasing bond density and connectivity.
In addition to clarifying that Nb acts as a "network former," the researchers showed that W-RESPDOR, a new NMR technique that measures the distance between two elements, can be applied to glass.
The researchers' computational modeling revealed the random distribution of lithium ions in silica-based glass at the nanometric scale and cluster formations of Nb at higher concentrations of Nb2O5.
From Agencia FAPESP (Brazil)
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