Germanium selenide glasses of compositions spanning the whole glass-formation range are aged at room temperature for up to 20 years. A prominent enthalpy relaxation process is observed in all glasses, and its structural origin is analyzed by Raman spectroscopy. The structural relaxation is manifested in the Raman spectra as a decrease in the ratio of edge- to corner-sharing GeSe4/2 tetrahedral units. This structural evolution can be explained in terms of configurational entropy and density changes. Changes in Raman features and enthalpy follow an identical stretched exponential relaxation function characteristic of aging in glasses. The compositional dependence of enthalpy relaxation after 20 years is in agreement with kinetic considerations based on the glass transition temperature of each glass. The relaxation behavior and heat capacity curves are consistent with standard glass relaxation models for all compositions. These results indicate that the non-reversing enthalpy obtained by modulated differential scanning calorimetry (MDSC), which suggests the existence of non-aging glasses, is not a reliable measure of the ability of a glass to relax. Instead, it is suggested that an interpretation of MDSC data in terms of complex heat capacity provides a more complete and reliable assessment of the relaxation properties of glasses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry