Transparent ceramics are important for scientific and industrial applications because of the superior optical and mechanical properties. It has been suggested that optical transparency and mechanical strength are substantially enhanced if transparent ceramics with nano-crystals are available. However, synthesis of the highly transparent nano-crystalline ceramics has been difficult using conventional sintering techniques at relatively low pressures. Here we show direct conversion from bulk glass starting material in mutianvil high-pressure apparatus leads to pore-free nano-polycrystalline silicate garnet at pressures above 1/410 GPa in a limited temperature range around 1,400 °C. The synthesized nano-polycrystalline garnet is optically as transparent as the single crystal for almost the entire visible light range and harder than the single crystal by 1/430%. The ultrahigh-pressure conversion technique should provide novel functional ceramics having various crystal structures, including those of high-pressure phases, as well as ideal specimens for some mineral physics applications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)