Amorphous, inorganic materials can show extremely high strengths but usually suffer from very limited fracture toughness. The recent years have seen a rising demand for ultrastrong, damage-resistant glasses. However, a significant increase in toughness for new glassy materials will only be possible with a new level of conceptual understanding of the underlying deformation mechanisms and their relationship to the local structure and network topology.
The aim of this research project is to investigate the influence of topology on the mechanical properties of silicate and metallic glasses at the atomic scale. For this purpose, we combine experimental investigations on the macro scale with in-situ nanomechanical testing in the transmission electron microscope (TEM) and atomistic computer simulations. The project is part of the Priority Program "Topological Engineering of Ultra-strong Glasses" (SPP 1594)
of the German Research Foundation DFG.
- M. Mačković, F. Niekiel, L. Wondraczek, E. Bitzek, E. Spiecker , "In situ mechanical quenching of nanoscale silica spheres in the transmission electron microscope", Scripta Materialia 121, 70-74 Link to article
- J. Luo, J. Wang, E. Bitzek, J. Y. Huang,H. Zheng, L. Tong, Q. Yang, J. Li, S.X. Mao , "Size-Dependent Brittle-to-Ductile Transition in Silica Glass Nanofibers", Nano Letters 16, 105-113 Link to article