Glass - Back to the Future!

Presenting Author:
S K Sundaram

< small>article posted 15 Dec 2015

Dr S K Sundaram is an Inamori Professor of Materials Science and Engineering in Kazuo Inamori School of Engineering and The New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University (since January 1, 2011). He is also the Chair of Mechanical, Electrical, and Renewable Energy Programs. Before joining Alfred University, he was a Chief Materials Scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. He joined PNNL after earning his Ph. D. from School of Materials Science and Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology in 1994. In the past 20 years, he has made major contributions in the areas of millimeter/THz wave science and technology, ultrafast materials science and engineering, non-oxide/multi-scale materials processing, and infrared materials and devices. He has published over 150 scientific reports, publications and technical reports, made over 170 scientific/technical presentations, edited/contributed to 15 books, taught/mentored/supported over 100 students, and organized/co-organized several national and international symposia on advanced topics in materials science. He is interested in promoting teaching across arts and engineering. He is a Fellow of the Society of Glass Technology.

Glasses for Photomultiplier Tube for Neutrino Detection:
Molecular Dynamics Simulation and Experimental Evaluation

S. K. Sundaram*1, R. Dongol1, A. Tandia2

Photomultiplier tubes (PMT) used in neutrino detection experiment are exposed to high-purity water at 14C and hydrostatic pressures of approximately 890 KPa. This creates a unique and detrimental environment for the glass surface and the mechanical behaviour. We have applied classical molecular dynamics (MD) simulation to investigate the structural and mechanical properties for PMT glass composition range (wt%):
SiO2 = 65-70,
Na2O = 6-9,
Al2O3 = 4-7,
B2O3 = 15-18,
BaO = 0-3,
ZnO = 0-3,
CaO = 0-1.

In particular, we will use molecular dynamics to study the relative changes of the glass surface structure and property such as: bond length and angle, chemical species, coordination number, Young's, bulk, shear modulus, stress-strain ratio Young's, shear, bulk moduli, stress-strain analysis results will be reported as a function of glass composition.

The goal of the MD simulation is to run a multi-species optimization to search for the optimized glass composition with mechanical properties. The selected glass composition will be used for further experimental study of performance of the glass for neutrino application.

In parallel, a vendor representative and a simplified boroaluminosilicate glasses were studied in the neutrino detection condition of high purity water (18.24 MΩ-cm) at 14C for their chemical durability and mechanical properties. In our work, a simulated static high purity water test at 14C and 25C, was conducted in accordance to product consistency test (PCT) - B. The 25C test was for comparison of these glasses as well as with other reported works.

Bulk glass samples were prepared for surface compositional changes using x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) technique. Mechanical properties, indentation hardness and ring-on-ring testing, were measured on samples exposed to high purity water at 14C.

Our results show coupling effects of pH and temperature on the chemical durability of both the glasses. The ion release data suggests preferential release of Na and B.


1 The New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, Alfred, NY 14802, USA

2 Corning Incorporated, Corning, NY 14831, USA