Volcanic eruptions generate huge amounts of material with a wide range of compositions and therefore different physicochemical properties. We present a combined Raman and calorimetric study carried out on four synthetic basaltic glasses with different alkali vs iron ratio which spans the typical compositions of basalts on Earth. Differential scanning calorimetry shows that changes of this ratio modify the glass transition interval whereas Raman spectra allow to gain insight about the structure of the glass in the microscopic and macroscopic range. Indeed, our Raman analysis is extended from the high frequency region, characterized by the molecular peaks, to the very low frequency region where glasses exhibit the boson peak. Spectra show a variation of the non-bridging oxygens number that affects the medium range order of the glass and the network interconnections. In the considered substitution interval, the boson peak shape is conserved while its position shift upwards. This means that increasing the alkali vs iron content, the elastic medium hardens but it does not change nature. This study emphasizes the importance of considering the full-range spectra when analysing multicomponent or natural systems with small chemical variations.
M. Cassetta, B. Giannetta, F. Enrichi, C. Zaccone, G. Mariotto, M. Giarola, L. Nodari, M. Zanatta, N. Daldosso, Effect of the alkali vs iron ratio on glass transition temperature and vibrational properties of synthetic basalt-like glasses, Spectrochimica Acta Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy, 293, 122430 (2023)
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