Structural Features of Iron Phosphate Glasses


The structures and valence states of iron ions in several iron phosphate glasses with batch compositions similar to 40Fe2O3-60P2O5 (mol%) have been investigated using Mössbauer spectroscopy, X-ray absorption fine-structure spectroscopy (XAFS), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), differential thermal (DTA) and thermo-gravimetric (TGA) analysis and X-ray and neutron diffraction. Mössbauer spectra show that a redox equilibria corresponding to an Fe(II)/[Fe(II) + Fe(III)] ratio of 0.2-0.4 is reached under processing conditions described in this paper. Even though the valence state of iron ions in the glass appears to be insensitive to the oxygen content in the melting atmosphere, the Fe(II) content can be increased within the observed range of redox equilibria by increasing the partial pressure of a reducing gas in the melting atmosphere. Large amounts of Fe(II), Fe(II)/[Fe(II) + Fe(III)] ≥ 0.4, appear to be detrimental to the glass-forming ability of the iron phosphate melts. The local structure of the iron phosphate glasses appears to be related to the short range structure of crystalline Fe3(P2O7)2 which consists of a network of (Fe3O12)-16 clusters. These clusters consist of one iron(II) ion and two iron(III) ions in sixfold coordination with near-neighbor oxygen ions. The (Fe3O12)-16 clusters are interconnected via (P2O7)-4 groups. Compared to other phosphate glasses, the proposed structure for iron phosphate glasses contain a smaller number of P-O-P bonds, a feature which is believed to be responsible for the unusually good chemical durability of iron phosphate glasses.


Materials Science and Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Chemical bonds; Crystal structure; Differential thermal analysis; Iron compounds; Melting; Mossbauer spectroscopy; Neutron diffraction; Pressure effects; Redox reactions; Thermogravimetric analysis; X ray diffraction analysis; X ray photoelectron spectroscopy; Iron phosphate; Redox equilibria

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

0022-3093; 1873-4812

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 1997 Elsevier, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Dec 1997