Oxide Glasses in Light of the “Ideal Glass” Concept: I, Ideal and Nonideal Transitions, and Departures from Ideality


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This two‐part paper develops a basis for discussing glass properties which has features in common with standard “actual vs. ideal” treatments of physicochemical behavior, by defining thermodynamically an ideal state for the glass and discussing the states of the actual glasses in terms of their “departures from ideality.” The glass transition, which freezes the state of the actual glass, is seen as the consequence of the progress of the liquid toward the ideal state, which, for kinetic reasons, is unattainable. The single complexion limit of the Gibbs‐DiMarzio treatment for chain polymers and a minimum volume zero excess entropy condition related to random close packing for simple liquids are seen as complimentary descriptions of the ideal state, which also sets the thermo‐dynamic low‐temperature limit to the liquid state. Glasses formed from simpler molten salt and concentrated aqueous solution systems appear to approach the ideal state and thus provide a behavior pattern against which departures from ideality in the more complex silicate and borate glasses of practical interest may be assessed. In part I general aspects of the problem posed by the glass transition phenomenon are discussed, a dynamic interpretation for simple glasses in terms of the state of phonon excitation of the glassy solid is conjectured, and the concepts of ideal and nonideal (practical) glasses and glass transitions are elucidated from consideration of thermodynamic and kinetic factors involved in the volume relaxation of liquids toward the glassy state. Attention is given to units for describing departures from ideality to permit comparisons among different systems. The limited data for inorganic glasses are examined. Departures from ideality, as usually found in the physicochemical comparison of “actual” with “ideal” behavior, are attributable to specific interactions among the particles of the system, but magnitudes also depend on heat capacity changes. The former factor reaches a maximum in vitreous SiO2 which thus may be one of the least ideal of glasses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-124
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Ceramic Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1968
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Materials Chemistry


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