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Ab Initio Modeling of Structure and Properties of Single and Mixed Alkali Silicate Glasses

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journal contribution
posted on 20.09.2017, 00:00 by Khagendra Baral, Aize Li, Wai-Yim Ching
A density functional theory (DFT)-based ab initio molecular dynamics (AIMD) has been applied to simulate models of single and mixed alkali silicate glasses with two different molar concentrations of alkali oxides. The structural environments and spatial distributions of alkali ions in the 10 simulated models with 20% and 30% of Li, Na, K and equal proportions of Li–Na and Na–K are studied in detail for subtle variations among the models. Quantum mechanical calculations of electronic structures, interatomic bonding, and mechanical and optical properties are carried out for each of the models, and the results are compared with available experimental observation and other simulations. The calculated results are in good agreement with the experimental data. We have used the novel concept of using the total bond order density (TBOD), a quantum mechanical metric, to characterize internal cohesion in these glass models. The mixed alkali effect (MAE) is visible in the bulk mechanical properties but not obvious in other physical properties studied in this paper. We show that Li doping deviates from expected trend due to the much stronger Li–O bonding than those of Na and K doping. The approach used in this study is in contrast with current studies in alkali-doped silicate glasses based only on geometric characterizations.