Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 29, Issue 14, pp 3601–3606 | Cite as

Silica fracture

Part I A ring contraction model
  • J. K. West
  • L. L. Hench


A quantitative ring contraction model for the fracture of amorphous silica is described based upon AM-1 semiempirical molecular orbital calculations of strained three- and four-fold silica rings and a five-fold ring-chain structure. The fracture barrier for five-fold ring-chain structures is 103 kcal mol−1. The barrier for fracture of a three-fold ring is 96 kcal mol−1. Fracture by contraction of four-fold rings has a lower energy barrier of 77 kcal mol−1 due to formation of pentacoordinate silicon transition states which produce trisiloxane rings and a broken siloxane bond. Thus, the ring contraction model predicts that a crack will follow a path which depends on the distribution of four-fold (or larger) rings in vacuum or fast fracture.


Silicon Transition State Energy Barrier Material Processing Siloxane 
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Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. K. West
    • 1
  • L. L. Hench
    • 1
  1. 1.Advanced Materials Research Center, Department of Materials Science and EngineeringUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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