Crystal morphologies on a cordierite glass surface
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With suitable thermal treatments, a nearly stoichiometric cordierite glass (2 MgO.2 Al2O3. 5 SiO2) shows a variety of crystal morphologies on the external surfaces: lozenges, regular and elongated hexagons, spherical and square shaped particles. We initially identified these morphologies through optical and scanning electron microscopy techniques. Their structural features were distinguished by x-ray diffraction patterns, infrared and Roman microprobe spectra. We concluded that there are close structural similarities for: lozenges and glass matrix; regular and elongated hexagons; spherical and square particles. The ordering degree increases in the following sequence: glass matrix, lozenges, hexagons, squares and spheres. The lozenge crystals are known as X-phase. The hexagons belong to the μ-cordierite (high quartz solid solution) metastable phase and the squares and spheres to the α-cordierite stable phase.