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STRUCTURE-PROPERTY RELATIONSHIPS IN GLASSES

Over the last years, rare earth-doped fluoride crystals within an aluminosilicate glass matrix have gained much interest, as they combine the benefits of fluoride crystals (e.g. low phonon energy) with the thermal and chemical stability of aluminosilicate glasses. Most of these glasses, however, have very high melting temperatures (around 1600°C), which is a disadvantage from a technological viewpoint. One current research project therefore focuses on designing rare earth-doped fluoro-aluminosilicate glasses of lower melting temperatures and characterising their crystallisation behaviour.

Brauer_Figure 2

Compared to silicate glasses, phosphate glasses have relatively high refractive indices and low dispersion. One disadvantage, however, is their poor durability in the presence of water and humidity. While it is known that the solubility of phosphate glasses can vary over several orders of magnitude, there are still many open questions as to their dissolution mechanism. We therefore currently investigate the details of phosphate glass dissolution, as an improved understanding of phosphate glass dissolution can pave the way towards more chemically stable compositions.

Brauer_Figure 3


Research areas

Our research focuses on the materials chemistry of silicate and phosphate glasses, with a particular focus on the interaction between glassy materials and water. She is also interested in how glass composition, structure and properties are connected, particularly in glasses having a highly disrupted structure. Current research areas include:

  • improving the hydrolytic stability of phosphate glasses
  • fluoride-containing glasses and glass-ceramics
  • glass-based cement systems
  • bioactive glasses with improved processing

Teaching fields

Teaching is centered at materials science students at the Bachelor's and Master's degree levels and include:

  • Inorganic Chemistry for Materials Scientists
  • Glass Structure
  • Ceramics in Medicine

Research methods

  • glass synthesis using high temperature melt-quench and sol-gel techniques
  • glass thermal properties and crystallisation
  • solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy
  • ion release from glasses and dissolution of glasses

>> link to the Brauer group

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