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5 Glass Formation and Co-ordination Number of Cations Before discussing the details of glass structure, it is essential that we introduce the concept of electronegativity and co-ordination number of cations for several inorganic glass-forming compounds. The electronegativity is the tendency of an atom to attract another electron to complete a pair state of electrons in the outermost orbit of the valence band. g. the group VII halogen elements, namely F, Cl, Br and I, which are electronegative. The elements in the middle of periodic table are neither strongly electro positive nor electronegative, and therefore tend to form bonds with both types of elements.
Grande et al. % ZrF4, where the glass-forming tendency is maximized. 5a and b, respectively. 5 (a) Phase-equilibrium boundaries in the NaF-ZrF4 system, determined by Grande and co-workers by using the experimental data and a thermodynamic model [22,23]. The shaded area near equimolar NaF:ZrF4 shows the regions of glass formation, when mixed with BaF2. Adapted from the original in References 22,23. (b) Comparison of the experimentally determined phase-equilibrium boundaries in the BaF2-ZrF4 system, determined by Grande and co workers [22,23].
In contrast, the chlorides and bromides do not mix well with oxides, and therefore do not contribute to glass formation. However, several mixtures of chlorides, bromides and iodides are known in the literature for glass formation. (d) Since the atoms of carbon, nitrogen and oxygen have comparable atomic size, these elements, with silicon and aluminium especially, form glass when precursor compounds such as Si3N4, SiO2, Al2O3, AlN and SiC are mixed and melted above 1700 °C in an atmosphere of argon or nitrogen.