Glass Museum

  • Cotton Candy-like Glass Fibers Revolutionizing Wound Care


A recently published in the American Ceramic Society's Bulletin magazine novelty is a particular borate glass composition, based on the well known 13-93 bioactive glass, that gave origin to a cottony glass fibers form that mimic the structure of fibrin, in turn supporting the wound healing process.

Co-developers Steve Jung, PhD, and Delbert Day, a professor, both from the Missouri University of Science and Technology, noted from in vitro studies that bioactive glasses containing boron reacted to body fluids faster than silicate glasses.

Besides the material's composition, its structure is also very important because the wound needs a "scaffold" to the new tissue grow into. The researchers believe that the new biomaterial can mimic the microstructure of fibrin, trapping blood platelets and allowing the formation of a wound cover. With that in mind, Mo-Sci researchers developed a 300 nm to 5 μm in diameter cottony glass fibers.

Animal tests showed no adverse effects, so, after obtaining a license from the university, they produced the borate glass material, named "DermaFuse".

After that in vivo experiments were conducted. Peggy Taylor, a registered nurse at the Phelps County Regional Medical Center (PCRMC) in Rolla, Missouri, applied the new biomaterial in 12 venous stasis volunteers. Results indicate a speed up healing process of their long-term wounds.

This material could potentially be used by battlefield medics or emergency medical technicians to provide first aid with these glass fibers that simultaneously slow bleeding, fight bacteria (and other sources of infection) and stimulate the body's natural healing mechanisms. In addition, it could be used to treat diabetics suffering from hard-to-heal wounds.
More information at YouTube:

  • Corning® Willow™ Glass

Corning Willow Glass will help enable thin, light and cost-efficient applications including today’s slim displays and the smart surfaces of the future. The thinness, strength and flexibility of the glass has the potential to enable displays to be “wrapped” around a device or structure. As well, Corning Willow Glass can be processed at temperatures up to 500° C. High temperature processing capability is essential for today’s high end displays, and is a processing condition that cannot be supported with polymer films. Corning Willow Glass will enable the industry to pursue high-temperature, continuous “roll-to-roll” processes – similar to how newsprint is produced - that have been impossible until now.

It will support thinner backplanes and color filters for both Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLED) and liquid crystal displays (LCD) in high performance, portable devices such as smart phones, tablets, and notebook computers. This new, ultra-slim flexible glass will also help develop conformable (curved) displays for immersive viewing or mounting on non-flat surfaces.

Corning Willow Glass is formulated to perform exceptionally well for electronic components such as touch sensors, as well as leveraging glass’s natural hermetic properties as a seal for OLED displays and other moisture and oxygen sensitive technologies.

Fact Sheet:

  • Companhia americana cria vidro ultrafino e flexível

O produto, batizado de Willow Glass (Vidro Salgueiro) foi desenvolvido pela companhia Corning, a mesma empresa que criou o Gorilla Glass, usado para em telas para telefones celulares.
De acordo com a Corning, o invento servirá não apenas para produtos como telas de smartphones, mas também para outros que não têm forma plana.
O vidro flexível foi mostrado pela primeira vez durante uma feira comercial realizada na cidade americana de Boston.
O protótipo exibido em Boston era tão fino quanto uma folha de papel. A empresa afirmou que ele pode chegar a ter uma espessura de apenas 0,05 milímetros - bem mais fino, portanto, do que a espessura média das telas atuais de smartphones, que medem entre 0,2 milímetros ou 0,5 milímetros.
Descoberta de Jobs
O material utilizado para fazer o Willow Glass é resultado do processo de produção de vidro da empresa, chamado de Fusion (Fusão).
O vidro ultrafino e flexível pode ser obtido ao se dissolver os mesmos ingredientes a uma temperatura de 500 graus e em seguida produzir uma folha contínua que pode ser desenrolada por meio de um mecanismo similar à que é usada no processo de impressão.
Acredita-se que no futuro o Willow Glass poderá vir a substituir o já amplamente utilizado Gorilla Glass, utilizado em diversos smartphones e tablets.
Em uma feira realizada em Las Vegas neste ano, a Corning já havia divulgado o Gorilla Glass 2, que ela disse ser 20% mais fino do que o produto original, mas dotado da mesma resistência.
A primeira geração do Gorilla Glass, lançado em 2007, já foi utilizado em mais de 575 produtos de 33 companhias - cobrindo um número superior a 500 milhões de telefones móveis em todo o mundo.
Telefone 'sensível'
O primeiro a descobrir o vidro especial foi o fundador da Apple, Steve Jobs, que contratou a Corning quando a empresa estava desenvolvendo a tela para o seu primeiro iPhone, em 2006.
Nos últimos anos, cientistas em diferentes países vêm trabalhando com um material chamado grafeno, produzido pela primeira vez em 2004. O grafeno é uma folha plana de átomos de carbono densamente compactados e com espessura de apenas um átomo.
Em uma entrevista dada à BBC, Andrea Ferrari, um pesquisador da Univesidade de Cambridge, disse que protótipos de telas sensíveis ao toque feitas de grafeno já estão sendo desenvolvidas e que além de serem resistentes e flexíveis, no futuro tais telas poderão até mesmo oferecer o que chamou de um ''feedback de sensações''.
O pesquisador explicou que os avanços científicos farão com que ''o seu telefone seja capaz de sentir se você o está tocando, ele sentirá o ambiente à sua volta e você não terá que tocar um botão para ligá-lo ou desligá-lo". "Ele próprio será capaz de reconhecer se você o está usando ou não'', afirmou.

  • Ancient glass beads provide evidence of industry and trade routes at the time of the Romans
museum ancient glass

One of the glass beads investigated (actual size). Credit: Institute of Nuclear Chemistry, JGU

The raw materials for ancient glass beads found in former Rhaetian settlements in Bavaria clearly did not originate from this region. This is the conclusion following an analysis of the beads at the TRIGA research reactor of the Institute of Nuclear Chemistry at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU). A total of 42 glass beads from four different sites were examine, 38 of them dating to the early Roman imperial period (30-60 A.D.) and four from the late Roman period (4th century A.D.).

"We were able to clearly demonstrate that all of the from the four sites are made of soda-lime glass," stated Barbara Karches of the JGU Institute of Nuclear Chemistry. The use of sodium to manufacture the glass indicates that the raw glass must have been produced in the vicinity of soda lakes rather than in the inner land. The investigations have also provided important information for historians on industry and technology, trade routes, and the lifestyle of people at that time.

The majority of the glass beads studied came from excavations undertaken in the vicinity of Oberammergau. The location at which they were found were within what represented a cult site for the Rhaetians who once settled there. The glass beads, which were used as jewelry by the locals, show traces of exposure to sacrificial fires. Other objects found there appear to have been positioned deliberately in definite patterns. "The analysis of these beads was particularly interesting for us because the items found at the cult site have provided the first that this region was already settled in the 1st century B.C.," explained Christian Stieghorst, co-supervisor of the study. With the help of a technique called neutron activation analysis (NAA), it proved possible to identify the various elements present in the beads from Oberammergau and the other sites at Heimstätten, Auerberg, and Neubiberg. The technique involved exposing the specimens to radiation in the TRIGA research reactor. When bombarded by neutrons, the atomic nuclei of the material under investigation initially become unstable. As they return to their normal state, the nuclei emit characteristic gamma radiation that has a unique profile for each element and can thus be used for identification. "TRIGA as a radiation facility offers the ideal conditions for obtaining a chemical fingerprint of specimens by completely non-destructive means," stated Dr. Gabriele Hampel, operations manager of the research reactor.

The investigations showed that all the beads are made of soda-lime glass with a sodium oxide content of up to 20 percent. This means that the raw material sodium or possibly even the finished raw glass must have originally come from somewhere near a soda lake like those in Wadi El Natrun in Egypt. In antiquity, it would not have been possible to artificially achieve a temperature of 1,800 degrees Celsius, which is the temperature required to melt pure sand to make glass. It was thus necessary to add a fluxing agent to lower the melting point, usually in the form of potash or natural soda. Potash was freely available everywhere and was used depending on the location of the glass manufactory. Potash made from seaweed or plants growing along a coastline contains more sodium because of the saline soil, whereas inland plants contain more potassium. As it is a very complex process to extract the sodium from potash, naturally occurring soda from Egypt was more frequently used.

Some of the beads stand out because of their striking colors. They were colored blue to opaque black using cobalt, copper gave them a green color, while manganese helped produce a violet color or to decolorize glass given a yellow tint by the presence of iron. Ancient manufacturers achieved a brown color for the beads with the help of iron oxide.

"We were surprised by the unusually high silver content in the Oberammergau glass beads, particularly the unexpected distribution," stated Karches. These were glazed beads which were manufactured using a two-stage treatment process. The glass inner core was first coated with a thin layer of silver and then with another layer of glass. It was a new insight and one of the more relevant results of the TRIGA investigations conducted at Mainz that silver had been used to produce the glazed beads.

Provided by Universitaet Mainz

  • Materials science: Composite for smarter windows

Brian A. Korgel
Nature 500, 278–279 (15 August 2013) | doi:10.1038/500278a
Published online 14 August 2013

Glass has been prepared that selectively absorbs visible and near-infrared light when an electrochemical voltage is applied. This opens the way to 'smart' windows that block heat on demand, with or without optical transparency. See Letter p.323

Subject terms: Materials science, Chemistry

Residential and commercial buildings account for about 40% of energy use and about 30% of energy-related carbon emissions in the United States1. To decrease this energy demand, materials are needed that help to regulate the heating and lighting requirements of buildings by responding to environmental changes. In particular, electrochromic window materials, which change colour and/or transparency when subjected to an electric field, could significantly reduce energy consumption in buildings2. On page 323 of this issue, Llordés et al.3 report a great advance in the development of such materials. They have made a composite in which nanometre-scale crystals of indium tin oxide are embedded in a niobium oxide glass, with high control of nanocrystal loading and dispersion. The electrochromic performance of the composite is much better than expected from a simple sum of the optical absorption of its two separate components, because of both the nanostructure of the material and synergistic interactions that occur at the interface between the components.

Inorganic nanocrystals are typically synthesized chemically with organic capping groups attached to aid the crystals' dispersibility in solvents and to prevent aggregation or undesired particle growth. Unfortunately for many applications, the organic groups do not have useful electrical or optical properties. There has thus been much effort to replace the organic groups with inorganic groups that either add to the capabilities of the crystals or can be converted into an electrically or optically active material. This approach has been used to make nanocrystal assemblies with greatly improved electrical properties4 and to convert nanocrystals capped with inorganic complexes into a more useful photovoltaic material5 (a material that converts light into electricity).

Llordés et al. have used this strategy to create their nanoparticle-in-glass materials. The authors first stripped indium tin oxide (ITO) nanocrystals of their organic caps and replaced them with niobium-containing polyatomic ions known as polyoxometalate (POM) clusters. These clusters attach covalently to the ITO surface to create a shell around the nanocrystal. The researchers then condensed the modified nanocrystals into a film, simply by evaporating the solvent from a dispersion of the crystals. Finally, they converted the POM between the densely packed ITO nanocrystals into a niobium oxide (NbOx) glass matrix by heating the film to 400 °C. Compared with previously reported synthetic routes for making nanoparticle-in-glass materials, in which inorganic crystals are grown within a glass6, Llordés and co-workers' method provides rigorous control over the nanocrystals' size distribution and volume fraction. And, by adding more POM to the dispersion of POM-stabilized ITO nanocrystals, the authors could increase the volume fraction of the NbOxglass matrix.

One of the key features of the ITO nanocrystal–NbOx glass material is that the glass is covalently bonded to the nanocrystals. This restricts the molecular orientations available to the octahedral NbO6 units found in the glass, and leads to remarkable structural ordering that differs from that of pure NbOx. It turns out that this ordering improves the electrochromic properties of the glass matrix: NbOx in the composite is five times darker than the bulk material when a similar voltage is applied.

ITO nanocrystals are also electrochromic, but in a different wavelength region from NbOx: they undergo reversible electrochemical redox reactions and absorb near-infrared light in the reduced state, but are transparent to this part of the spectrum when oxidized7. The combination of ITO nanocrystals with a NbOx glass matrix therefore yields a material in which both visible and near-infrared light absorption can be electrochemically modulated. This material could thus be used in smart windows, to control the amount of both heat (near-infrared) and light passing through them (Fig. 1). What's more, the optical transparency can be tuned independently of the near-infrared transparency.

Figure 1: Electrochromic window design.


Llordés et al.3 propose that their nanoparticle-in-glass composite material could be used to make windows that controllably and selectively absorb visible light and near-infrared light (heat). a, In the design, the window is an electrochemical cell in which two conducting glass panes are separated by a solid electrolyte material. The authors' material is deposited on one pane, forming an electrode; a counter electrode is deposited on the other pane. In the absence of an electrical load, the window is transparent to visible and near-infrared light. b, When an intermediate voltage is applied, charge carriers (lithium ions, Li+, and electrons, e) move through the circuit. The nanoparticles in the composite become chemically reduced, whereupon they block most incoming near-infrared light. c, At lower voltages, the glass matrix of the composite also becomes reduced and blocks most incoming visible light.

Llordés and colleagues' approach for making composite materials of inorganic nanocrystals in glass opens the way to a range of new material properties and applications, not just in electrochromics. The challenge for each application is to identify the best combinations of nanocrystal composition and modifiable inorganic capping groups.

More specifically, several issues must still be addressed before the material can be used in windows. The authors used lithium metal as a counter electrode to test the performance of their material, but this is not acceptable for commercial applications because of safety concerns. A suitable counter electrode must be identified. Additionally, the researchers performed their photoelectrochemical tests using a liquid electrolyte as a charge-carrying material, whereas a solid electrolyte is probably more appropriate for buildings applications. The materials needed to build an electrochromic window will be more expensive than conventional window materials, so the extra expense will need to be balanced by the energy and cost savings that can be achieved through their use. Ideally, no power input will be needed to maintain transparency or opacity, but this ability remains to be explored.

Nevertheless, Llordés and co-workers' results are promising. With appropriate counter electrodes and a solid-state electrolyte, and if long-term stability of the composite can be demonstrated, windows that have multispectral band transparency may be just around the corner, potentially enabling buildings that offer unprecedented energy efficiency and comfort.


Richter, B. et al. Rev. Mod. Phys. 80, S1–S109 (2008).

Li, S.-Y., Niklasson, G. A. & Granqvist, C. G. J. Appl. Phys. 108, 063525 (2010).

Llordés, A., Garcia, G., Gazquez, J. & Milliron, D. J. Nature 500, 323–326 (2013).

Panthani, M. G. & Korgel, B. A. Annu. Rev. Chem. Biomol. Eng. 3, 287–311 (2012).

Jiang, C., Lee, J.-S. & Talapin, D. V. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 134, 5010–5013 (2012).

Sakamoto, A., Yamamoto, S. Int. J. Appl. Glass Sci. 1, 237–247 (2010).

Garcia, G. et al. Nano Lett. 11, 4415–4420 (2011).

Author Information

Brian A. Korgel is in the Department of Chemical Engineering, Center for Nano- and Molecular Science and Technology, Texas Materials Institute, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712, USA.

  • Alemanha cria papel de parede 'antiterremoto'

04/11/2013 - 02h55

Um papel de parede especial desenvolvido por cientistas alemães pode se tornar uma alternativa simples e barata para reduzir os estragos causados pelos terremotos.

A maioria das mortes nesses episódios acontece porque as pessoas são soterradas ou atingidas por construções que colapsam com o tremor de terra.

Há projetos de engenharia, como o uso de de uma espécie de mola especial nas estruturas, que conseguem reduzir o impacto. No entanto, são tecnologias que costumam ser muito caras e praticamente inacessíveis em países mais pobres.

O papel de parede antiterremoto desenvolvido no Instituto Karlsruhe de Tecnologia, na Alemanha, com parceria com Bayer MaterialScience e a empresa Kast, tem o objetivo de ser uma alternativa barata para tornar construções comuns menos vulneráveis aos sismos.

Papel de Parede Anti-terremoto - museum

Batizado de EQ-Top, o material é um tecido especial de fibra de vidro que é aplicado como um papel de parede nas construções de alvenaria. O principal componente do sistema é o adesivo Dispercoll U, uma dispersão de poliuretano que ajuda a fortalecer os pontos mais fracos.

Com a aplicação do papel de parede, a energia liberada pelo terremoto é distribuída ao longo da parede, evitando sobrecarga em pontos vulneráveis das estruturas, como janelas e batentes de portas.

Em testes, o revestimento evitou o colapso de várias estruturas. Quando não o impedia totalmente, o material foi capaz de retardar o processo. O que, segundo seus criadores, permitiria que as pessoas ganhassem tempo o suficiente para abandonar um recinto em segurança.

Terremotos podem ser devastadores mesmo quando não são muito intensos. No caso de comunidades em que prédios e residências praticamente não têm preparação para resistirem aos abalos, não é preciso um superterremoto para causar um rastro de destruição e mortes.

Segundo Muritz Urban, cientista do Instituto Karlsruhe de Tecnologia que participa do processo, o objetivo é que o material seja simples, barato, eficiente e de fácil aplicação, justamente para poder beneficiar quem de outra forma não teria acesso à proteção.

"O processo ideal é que o papel de parede seja usado durante a construção, mas os resultados também são muito bons em estruturas já existentes", explica Urban.

O papel anti-terremoto já começou a ser vendido na Itália e na Alemanha.

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    • Resonant Frequency


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