Glass Imperfections Revealed Via Spectroscopy

Scientists have developed a new spectroscopy technique that can spot glass imperfections. The method helps spot the subsurface structural changes of silica glass due to nanoscale wear and damage. Applications like electronic displays and vehicle windshields will benefit from this development.

Surface defects are the main reason glass is less strong than steel. The researchers used hyperspectral near-field optical mapping to spot the glass imperfections. The method allowed them to study the glass defects at ultra-small scales, which was never possible in the past.

This technique offers both optical spectral resolution and high-spatial-resolution and uses a scattering scanning near-field optical microscope

Glass scientists can use this technique to learn how glass non-uniformities occur and the physics behind that. Such knowledge-based development or processing will help with product improvements – making the glass surface more perfect and durable, mechanically and chemically. This technique may lead to new advancements in glass science. By observing nano surface damage over multicomponent glass materials, scientists can significantly increase their fundamental understanding of glass science using this technique.

Understanding this is critical because precision is critical for many devices. A camera on a Mars rover could measure spectral properties on the Martian surface. Still, a scratch on the glass could affect not only the optical properties but also the mechanical and chemical properties required for truly accurate measurements.

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