Enhanced fracture toughness of silica glass by ion-implanted platinum nanoparticles

Jesús Gutiérrez-Menchaca, Andrés Manuel Garay-Tapia, David Torres-Torres, Ana María Arizmendi-Morquecho, Cesar Leyva-Porras, Carlos Torres-Torres, Alicia Oliver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The enhancement of fracture toughness exhibited by silica glass (SG) remains a challenge for a wide variety of technology applications, particularly without implying significant changes in the glass structure. The present work shows that embedded platinum nanoparticles (PtNPs) can significantly improve the mechanical performance of silica glass (PtNPs/SG). The PtNPs were implanted into a high-purity SG substrate with 3MV Tandem accelerator Pelletron and thermally annealed at 600°C. Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy and transmission electron microscopy characterizations disclosed a Gaussian distribution of PtNPs at 600-nm depth. Nanoindentation test revealed that brittleness (B) decreased about 24% and the effective elastic modulus (Er) increased by about 7% for the nanostructured compound. Additionally, an increase in fracture toughness (Kc) of 19% and an enhancement of elasto-plastic performance behavior during the scratch test were observed. Therefore, embedded PtNPs represent a potential solution for brittleness problems in SG.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFatigue and Fracture of Engineering Materials and Structures
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • elasto-plastic indentation
  • finite element simulation
  • fracture toughness
  • microplasticity
  • nanostructures
  • silica glass


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