A high-energy pulsed laser was used to induce very short (2 ns) pressure pulses in quartz single crystals. The microstructure of recovered specimens was characterized by optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. Whatever the peak pressures (20–90 GPa), the shocked materials showed no shock defects (amorphous lamellae, Brazil twins, etc.). The microstructure was dominated by fracturing. The present study thus suggests that for very short pulse durations, quartz can be loaded at pressures well above the Hugoniot elastic limit without undergoing solid-state amorphization. The behaviour of quartz is purely elastic-brittle.
Microstructure Quartz Transmission Electron Microscopy Pulse Laser Optical Microscopy
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