Structural Role and Distribution of Alkali and Alkaline-Earth Cations in Rare Earth-Rich Aluminoborosilicate Glasses
The structure of a seven oxide aluminoborosilicate simplified nuclear glass, bearing a high amount of neodymium or lanthanum oxide (16 wt%), alkali and alkaline earth cations is studied. Nd3+ or La3+ are supposed to simulate the trivalent lanthanides and minor actinides present in nuclear wastes. In the studied glass composition, lanthanide ions have a modifying role and are located in highly depolymerized regions of the structure as shown by neodymium optical absorption and EXAFS spectroscopies. Both alkali and alkaline earth cations are present around Nd3+ ions enabling their stabilization in glass structure near non-bridging oxygen atoms (NBOs). We show that both the nature of alkali R+ and alkaline earth R'2+ cations and the K = [R'O]/([R2O]+[R'O]) ratio can greatly influence the structure of the aluminoborosilicate glass network. Three glass series were prepared for which: (i) K ratio was varied from 0 to 0.5 (Na+ and Ca2+ being respectively the only alkali and alkaline-earth cations), (ii) the nature of R+ cation was varied from Li+ to Cs+ (Ca2+ being the only alkaline earth cation and K = 0.3), (iii) the nature of R'2+ cation was varied from Mg2+ to Ba2+ (Na+ being the only alkali cation and K = 0.3). 27Al MAS NMR spectroscopy results show that (AlO4)- units are preferentially charge compensated by alkali cations rather than by alkaline-earth cations. Both R+ and R’2+ cations can compensate (BO4)- units. Nevertheless, whereas the proportion N4 of (BO4)- units increases with the size of R'2+ cations, the evolution of N4 with R+ cation size for glasses of the R series is not monotonous. The evolution of sodium ions distribution trough glass structure is followed by 23Na MAS NMR spectroscopy.
M. Liška, D. Galusek, R. Klement and V. Petrušková
D. Caurant et al., "Structural Role and Distribution of Alkali and Alkaline-Earth Cations in Rare Earth-Rich Aluminoborosilicate Glasses", Advanced Materials Research, Vols. 39-40, pp. 19-24, 2008