Characterisation of immiscibility in calcium borosilicates used for the immobilisation of Mo 6+ under Au‐irradiation

Patel, Karishma B. and Schuller, Sophie and Facq, Sébastien P. and Farnan, Ian (2020) Characterisation of immiscibility in calcium borosilicates used for the immobilisation of Mo 6+ under Au‐irradiation. Journal of the American Ceramic Society. ISSN 0002-7820 DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/jace.17637

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Abstract

The aim of this paper was to assess factors affecting primary and secondary phase separation in simplified calcium borosilicate glasses studied for nuclear waste applications. Several glasses with varying [MoO3] and [B2O3] were synthesised and exposed to Au‐irradiation to examine compositional effects on the glass structure and domain size of separated phases induced by accumulated radiation damage resulting from α‐decay over a ~1000 year timeframe. The produced glasses fell within the immiscibility dome of CaO−SiO2−B2O3 and showed a unique microstructure of embedded immiscibility with three identifiable amorphous phases according to electron microscopy, Raman spectroscopy and diffraction. These glasses were then bombarded with 7 MeV Au3+ ions to a dose of 3×1014 ions/cm2 creating an estimated ~1 dpa of damage. Several changes to the morphology, spatial distribution and size of secondary phases were observed, indicative of significant structural reorganisation and changes to the chemical composition of each phase. A general mechanism of coalescence to form larger particles was observed for [MoO3] < 2.5mol%, while segregation to form smaller more evenly distributed particles was seen for [B2O3] ≤ 15mol% and [MoO3] ≥ 2.5mol%. These microscopic changes were concurrent to surface‐bulk diffusion of Ca and/or Mo ions, where the direction of diffusion was dependent on [B2O3] with a barrier identified at ~20mol%, as well as cross phase diffusion of said ions. These modifications occurred in part through the formation of distorted ring structures within the borosilicate network, which enabled the increased dissolution of isolated (MoO4)2‐ units. Au‐irradiation was therefore able to increase the solubility of molybdenum and alter the structure and composition of secondary phases with the extent of modification varying with [MoO3] and [B2O3]/[SiO2], though glasses notably remained heterogeneous. The collective results suggest that radiation and composition can both be used as design tools to modulate the domain size and distribution of separated phases in heterogeneous glasses.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2020AREP; IA77
Subjects: 03 - Mineral Sciences
Divisions: 03 - Mineral Sciences
07 - Gold Open Access
12 - PhD
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of the American Ceramic Society
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1111/jace.17637
Depositing User: Sarah Humbert
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2021 18:22
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2021 01:57
URI: http://eprints.esc.cam.ac.uk/id/eprint/5984

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