Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 10, Issue 10, pp 1802–1825

Liquid-phase separation in glass-forming systems

  • P. F. James

DOI: 10.1007/BF00554944

Cite this article as:
James, P.F. J Mater Sci (1975) 10: 1802. doi:10.1007/BF00554944


This review is concerned with the process of liquid-phase separation in glass-forming systems. In the first part a general account of phase equilibria is presented together with a discussion of the thermodynamic behaviour of systems exhibiting liquid-liquid immiscibility. The estimation of free energies from phase-boundary data and the location of the spinodal boundary are briefly considered. The origin of immiscibility in silicate solutions is discussed from a thermodynamic approach. The importance of association, particularly in silicate systems, is stressed. In the second part of the review, an outline of the theories of homogeneous nucleation and spinodal decomposition is given and a review of recent theoretical developments. The intersecting growth model is discussed and also the laterstage coarsening of both droplet and interconnected structures. The theories are compared with experimental results (including electron microscope and small-angle X-ray scattering data) for various systems. The effects of phase separation on crystallization processes in glasses and on the physical and chemical properties of glasses are outlined. Although the results considered are for oxide systems where sufficient data are available, much of the discussion is applicable to glass-forming systems in general.

Copyright information

© Chapman and Hall Ltd. 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. F. James
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Ceramics, Glasses and PolymersUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK