Topological Origins of the Mixed Alkali Effect in Glass

Collin J. Wilkinson, Arron R. Potter, Rebecca S. Welch, Caio Bragatto, Qiuju Zheng, Mathieu Bauchy, Mario Affatigato, Steven A. Feller, John C. Mauro

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16 Scopus citations


The mixed alkali effect, the deviation from expected linear property changes when alkali ions are mixed in a glass, remains a point of contention in the glass community. While several earlier models have been proposed to explain mixed alkali effects on ionic motion, models based on or containing discussion of structural aspects of mixed-alkali glasses remain rare by comparison. However, the transition-range viscosity depression effect is many orders in magnitude for mixed-alkali glasses, and the original observation of the effect (then known as the Thermometer Effect) concerned the highly anomalous temperature dependence of stress and structural relaxation time constants. With this in mind, a new structural model based on topological constraint theory is proposed herein which elucidates the origin of the mixed alkali effect as a consequence of network strain due to differing cation radii. Discussion of literature models and data alongside new molecular dynamics simulations and experimental data are presented in support of the model, with good agreement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7482-7489
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number34
StatePublished - Jul 9 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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