An X-ray diffraction study of shock-wave-densified SiO2 glasses
The densification and structural changes in SiO2 glass compressed up to 43.4 GPa by shock experiments are investigated quantitatively by the X-ray diffraction technique. Direct structural data (average Si–O and Si–Si distances and Si–O–Si angles, coordination number of the Si atom) of these shock-densified SiO2 glasses have been obtained by analyzing the radial distribution function curves, RDF(r), calculated with X-ray diffraction data. The coordination number of all densified glasses is about 4 and shows almost no pressure variation. The SiO2 glass has shown density increase of 11% at a shock compression of 26.3 GPa. This density evolution could not be explained by the coordination change. The reduction of the average Si–O–Si angle (144° at 0 GPa to 136° at 26.3 GPa) obtained from RDF(r) data may account for this density increase. This Si–O–Si angle change may be caused by shrinkage of the network structure and the increase of small rings of SiO4 tetrahedra. For higher shock pressure, a decrease in the Si–O–Si angle to 140° was observed. This is consistent with the decrease in density at 32.0 and 43.2 GPa. This decrease in the Si–O–Si angle and density could be attributed to an annealing effect due to high after-shock residual temperature. This pressure dependence of average Si–O–Si angles in shock-densified SiO2 glass agrees with the results of our previous Raman spectroscopic study. On the other hand, the pressure variation for the first sharp diffraction peak (FSDP) was analyzed to estimate the evolution of intermediate range structures. It is suggested that the mean d value (dm) obtained from the position of FSDP strongly depends on the shock and residual temperature, as well as shock pressure.
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