Channel Formation and Intermediate Range Order in Sodium Silicate Melts and Glasses
We use inelastic neutron scattering and molecular dynamics simulation to investigate the interplay between the structure and the fast sodium ion diffusion in various sodium silicates. With increasing temperature and decreasing density the structure factors exhibit an emerging prepeak around 0.9 Å-1. We show that this prepeak has its origin in the formation of sodium rich channels in the static structure. The channels serve as preferential ion conducting pathways in the relative immobile Si-O matrix. On cooling below the glass transition this intermediate range order is frozen in.