Self-organization in network glasses

M. F. Thorpe, D. J. Jacobs, M. V. Chubynsky, J. C. Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

269 Scopus citations


The continuous random network model is widely used as a realistic description of the structure of covalent glasses and amorphous solids. We point out that in real glasses and amorphous materials, there are non-random structural elements that go beyond just simple chemical ordering. We propose that the network can self-organize at its formation or fictive temperature, and examine some of the possible consequences of such self-organization. We find that the absence of small rings can cause the mechanical threshold to change from a second order to a first order transition. We show that if stressed regions are inhibited in the network, then there are two-phase transitions and an intermediate phase that is rigid but stress-free. This intermediate phase is bounded by a second order transition on one side and a first order transition on the other. Recent experiments in chalcogenide glasses give evidence for this intermediate phase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)859-866
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Non-Crystalline Solids
Volume266-269 B
StatePublished - May 1 2000
Externally publishedYes
Event18th International Conference on Amorphous and Microcrystalline Semiconductors - Sicence and Technology (ICAMS 18) - Snowbird, UT, United States
Duration: Aug 23 1999Aug 27 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Chemistry


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