American Journal of Physics and Applications
Volume 4, Issue 6, November 2016, Pages: 145-151

Mechanical and Structural Properties of Zinc – Sodium - Phosphate Glasses Doped with Cu2O

E. Nabhan1, *, A. Nabhan2, N. Abd El Aal3

1Physics Dept., Faculty of Science (Girls), Al Azhar University, Cairo, Egypt

2Mechanical Production Dept. Faculty of Engineering, Al Minia University, Al Menia, Egypt

3Ultrasonic Laboratory, National Institute of Standard, Giza, Egypt

Email address:

(E. Nabhan)

*Corresponding author

To cite this article:

E. Nabhan, A. Nabhan, N. Abd El Aal. Mechanical and Structural Properties of Zinc – Sodium - Phosphate Glasses Doped with Cu2O. American Journal of Physics and Applications. Vol. 4, No. 6, 2016, pp. 145-151. doi: 10.11648/j.ajpa.20160406.12

Received: November 5, 2016; Accepted: December 2, 2016; Published: December 20, 2016

Abstract: Ternary Zinc-Sodium-Phosphate glasses doped with copper of the composition 40ZnO-(20-x) Na2O-40P2O5-xCu2O where x =0, 2, 4, 6, 8 mol % were prepared by the tradition quenching method. The effect of Cu ions on density, molar volume and microhardness has been investigated. FTIR was measured in the range (400-1600) cm-1 to investigate the effect of Cu ion on the structure of the studied glass. Longitudinal and shear velocities were measured for the studied glass using pulse echo technique. Elastic properties such as longitudinal modulus, shear modulus, bulk modulus, and Young’s modulus, Poisson’s ratio) and some physical parameters such as softening temperature, hardness, Debye temperature have been calculated. The ultrasonic results and the other measured parameters indicate the Cu ion increase the cross-link density by the formation of P-O-Cu. All the measurements are measured at room temperature.

Keywords: Infrared, Infrared Deconvolution, Density, Molar Volume, Hardness, Ultrasonic Velocity, Elastic Moduli

1. Introduction

Due to the unique properties of phosphate glasses, such as high thermal expansion coefficient, low melting, softening and transition temperatures, high electrical conductivity (with the addition of transition metal ions), ultraviolet and far infrared transmission and other optical characteristics, make them of great scientific and technical interest for many applications [1-4]. However, the poor chemical durability is one of the disadvantages of which limit its use in many applications [5,6]. The addition of one or more of the transition metal oxide to phosphate glass has improved the chemical durability [7]. With the Addition of ZnO to phosphate glass has an effect on the chemical durability and other properties that, when it adds as a modifier, it increases the cross-link between phosphate anions, inhabiting hydration reaction [8, 9]. Additionally, ZnO improves the melting properties that, it is lowering the melting and transition temperatures, and also improve the opacity of glass, which make it is important for many applications such as glass filters and as sealing glass. Also adding copper to phosphate glasses maintains optical absorption band in the visible –near IR region makes it a candidate as band pass filter [10], and also Cu ions exhibiting a semiconducting properties [11]. In different glasses, copper can exist in two states, as divalent Cu2+ which give the glass color from blue to green depending on its concentration or monovalent Cu+ (Cuprous) which doesn’t produce color because its five d-orbital occupied or containing both states. Their ratio of Cu+ and Cu2+ depending on the type of glass former, composition and thermal history (such as environment, melting temperature, and melting time) [12]. Recently, Cu2+ ions doped glasses have shown a great importance because of their optical stability and variable optical and electrical applications [13, 14]

The mechanical properties such as elastic moduli, and other mechanical properties are of great importance because it gives a good information concerning the forces that are operative between atoms of the solid and also it suitable for describing the compactness of the glass structure [15, 16].

The main objective of this work is to investigate FTIR, density, molar volume, hardness, and elastic properties of some Zinc-sodium-phosphate-glasses doped with different concentrations of copper oxide up to 8 mol%. It is amid to study the effect of Cu2O on the different physical properties which makes it candidate for many applications, such as glass to metal seals.

2. Experimental Procedure

2.1. Preparation of Glasses

The glass samples with chemical 40ZnO-(20-x) Na2O-40P2O5-xCu2O in molar ratio x = 0, 2, 4, 6, and 8 were prepared by the conventional melt and quenching technique. Batches were prepared from appropriate mixtures of reagent grade NaCO3, ZnO, NH4H2PO4 and Cu2O. The batches were mixed and grinding using porcelain mortar and then calcinated in porcelain crucible using muffle furnace for about 1h at 350°C, then it heated at 1050°C for 1h. The melt were removed from the furnace several times and shacked well to ensure homogeneity. The melting were poured in a preheated copper moldand annealed at 300°C. the sample that free of copper is transparent and Colorless, while with the addition of Cu2O the sample were transparent and colored. The color of samples changes from blue to green gradually as Cu2O content increase.

2.2. Infrared Measurements

The infrared absorption spectra of the studied glasses were measured at room temperature using Beckman 4250 IR spectrometer in the range (400-4000) cm-1, using the KBr pellet technique. The resulting IR spectra have been deconvoluted in order to know further information about the structural groups and their changes.

2.3. Density Measurements

Densities of all studied glass samples were measured at room temperature by applying Archimedes Principle using carbon tetrachloride as buoyant liquid using the relation:


Where wa and wb the weights of sample in air and buoyant respectively. ρb is the density of the buoyant which equal 1.593 gm/cm3. The molar volume Vm of each sample was being calculated using the formula:


Where Mi is the molecular weight of the constituent oxides, and Ni is the percent composition of the constituent oxides and ρ is the density.

2.4. Microhardness Measurements

The microhardness of the samples were determined using a microhardness tester of the type Shimadzu (Japan). High polishing was necessary for obtaining smooth, flat parallel surfaces before indentation testing. Ten indentations were measured for each sample. The appropriate loading of the studied samples is 200 gm for 15 sec. The microhardness value was calculated automatically.

2.5. Ultrasonic Measurements

The longitudinal and shear ultrasonic wave velocity Vl and Vs respectively, were measured at room temperature using pulse-echo method. X cut and Y cut transducers operated at a fundamental frequency of 4MHz and a digital flaw detector (USIP 20, Krauthramer, Germany) were used, the velocity was calculated using the relation


Where d is the sample thickness, Δt is the time interval.

3. Determination of Elastic Moduli

The longitudinal and shear ultrasonic wave velocity Vl and Vs were calculated using equation (3). Then the elastic strains produced by a small stress can be described by the longitudinal modulus (L) and shear modulus (S) given by


S=ρVs2                                      (4)

Where ρ is the density of the studied glass samples.

Young’s modulus (E), the bulk modulus (K), Poisson’s ratio (σ) and the microhardness (Hu) can be calculated using the following equations [17]



Other parameters can be calculated using the ultrasonic velocities and the experimental density, Debye temperature ϴD, the mean velocity and the softening temperature.

The mean sound velocity V mean has the expression


Then the Debye temperature can be expressed interims of the mean velocity


Where, h is Plank’s constant, kB is Boltzman constant, NA is Avogadro’s number, Ψ is the number of atoms in the chemical formula, Vm is the molar volume.

Softening temperature Ts can also be calculated using the shear ultrasonic velocity by the equation:


Where M is the molecular weight, and C is a constant of value 507.4 m s-1 k-1 for alumina-silicate glasses and assumed to be the same for all glasses.

4. Results and Discussions

4.1. IR Results and Discussion

The IR spectra of the studied glass samples are represented in Figure (1) as the Cu2O content increases from 0.0 up to 8.0 mol%, these values being reported in the following as the G0, G1…, G8. Inspection of the spectra shows that these spectra are almost similar without any significant differences except in a slight shift of band positions and sometimes changes in the relative intensities of the main bands. Based on information predicted from previous studies [18,19] leads to the following assignments:

The band at 500cm-1 which can be assigned as the deformation vibration of PO4 3- group is slightly shifted to higher as Cu2O increase from glass G0to G8.

The band at 750 cm-1 which is attributed to P-O-P symmetric band is slightly shifted to higher wavenumber as Cu2O content increase from glass G0to G8.

The band at about 900 cm-1 which is assigned to P-O-P asymmetric, is slightly shifted to higher wave number as Cu2O content increase from glass G0 to G8.

The two absorption bands at 1000 and 1100 cm-1 are attributed to P-O- symmetric and P-O-asymmetric, the phosphate –non bridging oxygen portion in PO4 tetrahedra in a chain structure respectively. The symmetric band P-O-sym doesn’t affect by Cu2O content while the P-O- asy there is a decrease in the intensity and the band become more broadening and its center slightly shifted to higher wavenumber as Cu2O increase.

The shoulder which observed at 1270 cm-1 is assigned to asymmetric stretching modes of the two non bridging oxygens bonded to phosphorus atoms-O-P-O- units in the phosphate tetrahedral [20,21]. It is noticed that its intensity decrease and seems to overlap with the P-O- asy as Cu2O content increase. From the spectra, it is clear that the IR spectra are free from any characteristic absorption bands of ZnO or Cu2O as network formers which means that both of them play the role of network modifiers and so it occupy the interstices.

Figure 1. The IR spectra of 40ZnO-(20-x) Na2O-40P2O5-xCu2O glass system. G0, G2, G4, G6, and G8 for Cu2O = 0,2,4,6, and 8 mol % respectively.

From the results of the IR, the shift of the two bands at 740 and 900 cm-1 of the P-O-P sym and P-O-P asy respectively to higher wavenumber may be due the increase of the covalence character of these bands indicates that the bonds are strengthened as Na2O is replaced by Cu2O in agreement with Shin et al.[22] and Chahine et al [23]. The decrease in intensity of the band at 1000 cm-1 assigned to P-O- sym reveals a decrease in the non-bridging oxygen and increase in the cross-link density as Na2O is replaced by Cu2O. This suggestion is in agreement with the results of Gresh et al [24], who suggested that M 2+ cations increase the cross-link density without breaking P-O-P chains. In other words Cu cations decrease the non-bridging oxygen and increase the cross-link density by the formation of P-O-Cu bonds which increase the cross-link density. A deconvolution process, as described elsewhere [25], should be performed to get further information about the characteristic parameters such as the band centers (C ), which is related to some type of vibration specific structural groups, its width (W) and relative area (A), which is proportional to the concentration ratio of this structural group. The deconvolution parameters of the band for the investigated glasses are given in Table [1]. Figure (2) illustrates the deconvoluted spectra of sample G2 as an example.

Table 1. Deconvolution parameters of the infrared spectra of the studied glasses.

G0 C 754 906 987 1111.6 1249
W 103.7 70.7 61.7 119.8 82
A 0. 11 0.24 0.10 0.42 0.12
G2 C 757 909 987  1113.8 1253
W 104 70 60  131 79
A 0.11 0.24 0.09  0.45 0.11
G4 C 760 911 991  1114 1257
W 97.9 78 49.9  150 73
A 0.11 0.25 0.05  0.51 0.08
G6 C 760 915 996  1113 1258
W 86 81 40  160 67
A 0.098 0.26 0.03  0.56 0.058
G8 C 761 916 996  1111 1259
W 89 182 40  182 60
A 0.096 0.23 0.03  0.60 0.038

C is the center of the band (cm-1), W is the band width (cm-1) and A is the relative area(%) of the component band.

From the deconvolution data, of the studied glass system, represented in Table[1], the band centered at 754 cm-1, which due to P-O-P sy, its center shifted to higher wave number as Na2O is replaced by Cu2O. While its relative intensity remains constant. The band centered at 907 cm-1 which is due to P-O-P asy shifted to higher wavenumber and its relative intensity increases as Cu2O increases. The results of the two bands reveal that as Na2O is replaced by Cu2O the cross-link density increase due to the formation of P-O-Cu which indicated from the increase of the relative intensity of P-O-P asy. There is also increasing in the bond strength of both the P-O-P sy and P-O-P asy due to the shift to higher wavenumber.

Figure 2. Band deconvolution of IR spectrum for glass sample G2. The red line shows the fit of IR spectra of G2.

The band at 987cm-1, which is related to the non-bridging oxygen atoms P-O-, shifted to higher wavenumber and its relative intensity decrease as Na2O is replaced by Cu2O, which means the increase in the cross-link density and decreasing in the non-bridging oxygen atoms.

4.2. Density and Molar Volume

Table 2. The compositions, experimental density, experimental molar volume, and the microhardness.

Sample no. Composition in mol % Exp. Density gm/cm3 Exp. Molar volume Hardness kg/mm2
ZnO Na2O P2O5 Cu2O
G0 40 20 40 0 3.027 33.61 344
G2 40 18 40 2 3.084 33.51 355
G4 40 16 40 4 3.161 33.38 366
G6 40 14 40 6 3.204 33.27 375
G8 40 12 40 8 3.281 32.98 387

Table [2] display the composition of the studied glass samples and their experimental density ρ, molar volume Vm and the Vickers microhardness H. The data of both density and molar volume as a function of Cu2O content have been represented in Figure (3). From the figure density increase as Cu2O content while the molar volume decreases.

Figure 3. The relation between Cu2O mol % and both the density and molar volume of the studied glasses.

The increase of the density as Cu2O increase is related to the difference in atomic mass of Cu ion and Na ion [26] while the decrease of the molar volume may be due to the less ionic character of Cu-O than that of Na-O (0.53 and 0.82 respectively) as calculated from Pauling [27]. This means that the increase in the covalence character of the system as Cu2O increase on the expense of Na2O. The results of the density and molar volume reveals that as Na2O is replaced by Cu2O the glass structure becomes more compacted. Such compaction can be realized through any of the following changes:

Shortening of the bond length as indicated by the observed shift of P-O-P symmetric and asymmetric stretching vibrations at 750 and 900 cm-1 respectively towards higher wavenumber.

The role of Cu2O cation in crosses linking the phosphate groups.

Occupation of interstices as also concluded from IR results.

4.3. Microhardness

Figure (4) shows that the hardness of the studied glass samples as a function of Cu2O content and the data are represented in Table [2]. From the figure the value of the hardness is found to increase as Cu2O content increase. It is known that the hardness increases as the flow mobility of the matrix element decrease. This was supported by the conclusion obtained from the viscosity studies of Fen et. al. [28]. He suggested that an increase in the hardness number of different oxides is attributed to the decrease in the flow mechanism in a glass containing oxides. Decrease in the flow mobility is expected to occur in replacing Na2O by Cu2O due to the decrease in the non-bridging oxygen atoms resulting from the increasing of the cross-link density as well as the remarkable difference of Na atomic mass and the atomic mass of Cu and consequently the hardness increase.

Figure 4. The relation between Cu2O mole % and the experimental Vicker’s microhardness of the studied glasses.

4.4. Ultrasonic Measurements

The experimentally measured ultrasonic velocities Vl and Vs together with the corresponding evaluated parameters (L, S, E, K, σ, Vmean, ƟD, Ts and H ) are given in Table [3].

Table 3. The values of the density ρ, longitudinal velocity Vl, shear velocity Vs, shear modulus S, Longitudinal modulus L, bulk modulus K, Younge’s modulus E, Poisson’s ratio σ, Hardness Hu, softening temperature Ts, Debye temperature ƟD.

Sample no. Density Kg/m3 Vl m/sec Vs m/sec S GPa L GPa K GPa E GPa σ Hu Kg/mm2 Ts 0k ƟD 0k
G0 3027 4716 2543 19.58 67.32 41.22 50.70 0.295 267 537 371
G2 3084 4800 2586 20.62 71.06 43.55 53.44 0.296 281 565 378
G4 3144 4856 2595 21.17 74.13 45.90 55.30 0.300 282 578 380
G6 3204 4919 2609 21.82 77.52 48.44 56.90 0.300 284 593 383
G8 3281 4935 2637 22.81 79.00 49.48 59.33 0.300 303 615 388

The effect of replacing progressive mol ratio of Na2O by Cu2O of the studied glass samples on the different parameters is represented in Figure (5, 6, 7, 8 and 9).

Figure 5. The relation between Cu2O content and the longitudinal and shear velocity Vl and Vs respectively

Inspection of these relations reveals that, Form Figure (5).

Each of the longitudinal velocity Vl, transverse velocity Vs are progressively increased as Na2O is replaced by Cu2O. It is obvious that the increase in the cross link density and the decrease in the non bridging oxygen and so the increase in connectivity will reflect on the ultrasonic velocities to increase in agreement with the results obtained from the above result ( IR, density, molar volume, and hardness)by the formation of P-O-Cu which decrease the non bridging oxygen atoms and increase both of the cross-link density and the covalency of the bonds. This also will reflect on the chemical durability and enhance it to increase with increasing Cu2O.

Figure (6) represented the relation between Cu2O content and the different elastic moduli (L, E, K, and S). From the figure all the elastic moduli increase with increasing Cu2O content for the same reasons that reflect on the shear and longitudinal velocities and in agreement with results obtained from the other results.

Figure 6. The relation between the elastic moduli (S, L, K and E) with the Cu2O content.

The variation of Debye temperature ϴD, softening temperature Ts with Cu2O content is represented in Figure (7). The Debye temperature at which nearly all mode of vibrations in the solid are excited and it is increasing as the rigidity of the system. From the figure it is clear that ϴD increase with the increase of Cu2O content, which means that the rigidity of the glass system increase as Cu2O increase.

The softening temperature and hardness which represented in Figure (7), Figure (8) are also affected by the rigidity of the system, the rigidity increases as the non bridging oxygen decreases, the cross-link density increases, and with the strengthening of the bonds, all of these increased as Cu2O increase in agreement with Marzouk[18].

Figure 7. The relation between Debye temperature, softening temperature and Cu2O content.

Figure 8. The relation between ultrasonic hardness, Poisson’s ratio and Cu2O content.

Poisson’s ratio σ with Cu2O content is represented in Figure (8). The value of σ is varied from 0.295 to 0.300 as Cu2O content increase from 0 to 8 mol % is almost negligible in agreement with Rajendran[29] who neglect the variation of σ in the range from about 0.27to about 0.29 as SiO2 increase.

5. Conclusions

Studies of IR, density, molar volume, hardness, ultrasonic velocities, elastic moduli and other parameters such Debye temperature, softening temperature, hardness and poisson’s ratio as Na2O is replaced by Cu2O in zinc sodium phosphate glasses were carried out. Infrared absorption spectra indicate that the cross-link density of the glassy system increase by the decrease in the number of non-bridging oxygen atoms, the formation of P-O-Cu bonds, and the increase of the covalence character of bonds. Which also causes strengthening of the bonds as Cu2O content increase. The IR results have been ascertained by the deconvolution of the IR spectra of the samples. Both the density and hardness increase with increasing Cu2O content, while the molar volume decreases. The increases in the longitudinal and shear velocities, Debye temperature, softening temperature, hardness, and elastic moduli, are attributed to the increase of the connectivity of the system.


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