Institut des
NanoSciences de Paris
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Séminaire général

Mobile surfaces and highly stable glasses (Or how to make a million-year-old glass in 10 minutes)

Mark Ediger

We have used physical vapor deposition and the mobility of glassy surfaces to prepare what are likely the most stable glasses on the planet. Direct measurements of surface diffusion indicate that glass surfaces can be 107 times more mobile than the interior of the glass. This mobility allows the preparation of materials with properties expected for “million-year-old” glasses, including high density, low enthalpy, and high mechanical moduli. Computer simulations verify and extend our understanding of these unusual materials, and allow a detailed investigation of structure/property relationships. These developments present major opportunities to learn about the lower portions of the potential energy landscape and to design better glasses for applications where crystallization and physical aging limit the utility of conventional glasses.