A Raman spectroscopic study of shock-wave densification of vitreous silica
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The densification processes in SiO2 glass induced by shock-wave compression up to 43.4 GPa are investigated by Raman spectroscopy. At first, densification increases with increasing shock pressure. A maximum densification of 11% is obtained for a shock pressure of 26.3 GPa. This densification is attributed to the reduction of the average Si−O−Si angle, which occurs first by the collapse of the largest ring cavities, then by further reduction of the average ring size. For higher shock pressures, a different structural modification is observed, resulting in decreasing densification with increasing shock pressure. Indeed, the recovered densification becomes very small, with values of 1.8 and 0.5% at 32 and 43.4 GPa, respectively. This is attributed to partial annealing of the samples due to high after shock residual temperatures. The study of the annealing process of the most densified glass by in situ high temperature Raman spectroscopy confirms that relaxation of the Si−O−Si angle starts at a lower temperature (about 800 K) than that of the siloxane rings (about 1000 K), thus explaining the high intensity of the siloxane defect bands in the samples schocked at compressions of 32 and 43.4 GPa. The large intensity of the siloxane bands in the nearly undensified samples shocked by compressions above 30 GPa may be explained by the relaxation during decompression of five- and six-fold coordinated silicon species formed at high pressure and high temperature during the shock event.
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