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Light scattering in a surface glass layer produced by a surface ion exchange process

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The optical properties of glass with a surface layer modified by a surface ion exchange process are investigated. Using a surface ion exchange paste (SIEP) for glass surface modification leads to the formation of a special surface structure with system of microblocks (∼50–150 μm in size) separated by microcracks (∼100–200 nm wide). This structure was investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). It is shown that the formation of this surface glass structure determines the spectral characteristics of the scattered light namely their angular dependences and extinction characteristics. The effectiveness of light propagation in the glass in the full internal reflection regime was investigated. Optical and morphological results obtained are essentially different from those for glasses that have not been treated and for glass with a surface layer produced by a well known and widely used glass chemical etching process. The results may be very important for the use of glass in illumination and decoration.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2010

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