A study of the electronic structure and structural stability of Gd2Ti2O7 based glass-ceramic composites
Publisherthe Royal Society of Chemistry
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Glass-ceramic composite materials have been investigated for nuclear waste sequestration applications due to their ability to incorporate large amounts of radioactive waste elements. Borosilicate- and Fe–Al–borosilicate glass-ceramic composites containing pyrochlore-type Gd2Ti2O7 crystallites were synthesized at different annealing temperatures and investigated by multiple techniques. Backscattered electron (BSE) images were collected to investigate the interaction of the pyrochlore crystallites with the glass matrix. Examination of the X-ray absorption near edge spectroscopy (XANES) spectra from the composite materials has shown how the glass composition, pyrochlore loading, and annealing temperature affects the chemical environment around the metal centers. These investigations have shown that the Gd2Ti2O7 crystallites can dissolve in the glass matrix depending on the glass composition and annealing temperature. The borosilicate glass composite materials were implanted with high-energy Au ions to mimic radiation induced structural damage. Surface sensitive glancing angle XANES spectra collected from the implanted composite materials have shown that structural damage of Gd2Ti2O7 occurs as a result of implantation, and that these materials show a similar response to ion implantation as Gd2Ti2O7 alone.