Thermal And Electrical Properties Of Silver And Iodine Doped Chalcogenide Glasses
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Silver containing chalcogenide glasses have been extensively studied during the last few decades; the main interest in these materials being their electrical conductivity which changes by several orders of magnitude upon silver doping. Glassy chalcogenides doped with silver have applications in optical elements, gratings, micro-lenses, waveguides, bio & chemical sensors, solid electrolytes, batteries, etc. Chalcohalide glasses have become important in the recent times, from both scientific & technological points of view, due to the interesting properties exhibited by these glasses such as the transparency in the infrared region, the stability against devitrification, solubility of rare earth elements, etc. In this thesis work, the thermal properties and electrical switching behavior of certain silver and iodine doped chalcogenide glasses have been investigated The thesis contains five chapters: Chapter 1: This chapter is an introduction to the fundamental aspects of amorphous semiconductors with a particular reference to chalcogenide glasses. The advantages and applications of chalcogenide glasses are also described. Chapter 2: The methods of preparation and characterization of the glasses investigated are described in this chapter. Also, the details of the experiments undertaken, namely temperature modulated Alternating Differential Scanning Calorimetry (ADSC), electrical switching analysis, Photo-thermal Deflection Spectroscopy (PDS), etc, are outlined. Chapter 3: In this chapter, the thermal behavior and electrical switching of silver doped Ge-Se and As-Se chalcogenide glasses are described. Bulk, melt-quenched Se-rich Ge0.15Se0.85-xAgx glasses have been found to be microscopically phase separated and composed of Ag2Se clusters and GeSe2-Se network. When the silver concentration exceeds 10 atom %, the Ag2Se clusters embedded in the GeSe2-Se network percolate. The signature of this percolation threshold is clearly observed as the sudden appearance of two exothermic crystallization peaks in ADSC runs. Density, molar volume and micro hardness studies also strongly support the view of a percolation transition. The super-ionic conduction observed earlier in these glasses at higher silver proportions, is likely to be connected with the silver phase percolation. It has been found that Ge0.15Se0.85-xAgx glasses of lower silver concentration (x = 0.07 and 0.08) do not exhibit electrical switching at voltages up to 1100 V. A negative resistance behavior and threshold type electrical switching is seen in Ge0.15Se0.85-xAgx samples with x 0.09. Also, fluctuations are observed in the I-V characteristics of these samples, which have been attributed to the difference in thermal conductivities between the Ag2Se inclusions and the Ge-Se base glass. A sharp drop has been observed in the switching voltage with Ag concentration which is due to the more metallic nature of silver and the presence of Ag+ ions. Further, the saturation in the decrease of VT around x = 0.10, is related to silver phase percolation in these glasses. Bulk As20Se80-xAgx glasses (0 x 15) have been found to exhibit two endothermic glass transitions and two exothermic crystallization reactions on heating. Based on which it is suggested that As20Se80-xAgx glasses are also microscopically phase separated, containing Ag2Se phases embedded in an As-Se backbone. The occurrence of microscopic phase separation in As20Se80-xAgx glasses is also confirmed by SEM studies. With increasing silver concentration, the Ag2Se phase percolates in the As-Se matrix, with a well-defined percolation threshold at x = 8. This silver phase percolation is exemplified by sudden jumps in the composition dependence of the second crystallization peak and non-reversible heat-flow, Hnr obtained at the second glass transition reaction of As20Se80-xAgx glasses. The super-ionic conduction observed earlier in these glasses at higher silver proportions, is likely to be associated with the observed silver phase percolation. Like Ge0.15Se0.85-xAgx glasses, As20Se80-xAgx glasses also exhibit threshold type electrical switching with fluctuations in the I-V characteristics; these fluctuations have been attributed to the difference in thermal conductivities between the Ag2Se inclusions and the As-Se base glass. A sharp drop has been observed in the switching voltage with Ag concentration which is due to the more metallic nature of silver and the presence of Ag+ ions. Further, the saturation in the decrease of VT around x = 8, is found to be related to silver phase percolation in these glasses, which has been proposed on the basis of ADSC experiments. Chapter 4: The chapter 4 deals with thermal studies, electrical switching investigations and Photo-thermal Deflection Spectroscopic (PDS) measurements on certain Ge-Te-I and As-Te-I chalcohalide glasses. It has been found that the compositional variation of the glass transition temperature of Ge22Te78-xIx glasses, obtained by Alternating Differential Scanning Calorimetry (ADSC), exhibits a broad hump around 5 atom % of iodine. Further, a sharp minimum is seen in the composition dependence of non-reversing enthalpy (Hnr) of Ge22Te78-xIx glasses at x = 5, which is suggestive of a thermally reversing window at this composition. Electrical switching studies on Ge22Te78-xIx glasses indicate that these glasses exhibit memory type electrical switching. At lower iodine concentrations, a decrease is seen in switching voltages with an increase in iodine content (in comparison with the base Ge22Te78 glass), which is due to the decrease in network connectivity. The increase seen in switching voltages of Ge22Te78-xIx glasses at higher iodine contents, suggests that the influence of the metallicity is stronger at higher iodine proportions. It is also interesting to note that the composition dependence of the threshold voltages shows a slope change at x = 5, the inverse rigidity percolation threshold of the Ge22Te78-xIx system. . Further, it is found that the thermal diffusivities ( D) of Ge22Te78-xIx glasses decrease with the increase in iodine content, which has been understood on the basis of fragmentation of the Ge-Te network with the addition of iodine. Also, a cusp is seen in the composition dependence of thermal diffusivity at the composition x = 5 (average coordination number, r = 2.39), which has been identified to be the inverse rigidity percolation threshold of the system at which the network connectivity is lost. ADSC studies on As45Te55-xIx chalcohalide glasses (3 x 10) reveal that there is not much variation in the glass transition temperature of As45Te55-xIx glasses, even though there is a wide variation in r . Based on this observation we suggest that the variation in glass transition temperature of network glasses is dictated by the variation in average bond energy rather than the average coordination number. Further, the non-reversing enthalpy Hnr of As45Te55-xIx glasses is found to exhibit a sharp minimum at the composition x = 6. A broad hump is also seen in glass transition and crystallization temperatures in the composition range 5 x 7. These results indicate a narrow thermally reversing window in As45Te55-xIx glasses around the composition x = 6. As45Te55-xIx glasses have been found to exhibit a memory to threshold type change in switching behavior with iodine content (x 6), which has been understood on the basis of the sharp increase in thermal diffusivity above x = 6. It is also observed that the switching voltages do not change appreciably with composition/average coordination number. Though no pronounced signature of a stiffness transition is seen in the variation with composition of VT, fluctuations are seen in the switching voltages around x = 6, the composition corresponding to the sharp thermally revering window. PDS studies indicate that the thermal diffusivities () of As45Te55-xIx chalcohalide exhibit a sharp minimum at the composition x = 6. This result reasserts the presence of a sharp thermally reversing window in As45Te55-xIx glasses around the composition x = 6. Chapter 5: The significant results obtained in the present thesis work have been summarized in this chapter. Further, the scope for future work is also presented.
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