Ural Federal University: University Created Glass with Outstanding Radiation Protection Properties


Physicists at Ural Federal University, together with colleagues from universities in Germany, Pakistan, and Egypt, have synthesized new glass with outstanding radiation protection properties. The glass can be used in such fields as nuclear medicine, astronaut spacesuits, and spacecraft production. An article about the research was published in the Journal of Inorganic and Organometallic Polymers and Materials.

A novel boro-bariofluoride sodium calcium nickel glasses were created using a conventional melt-hardening technique. By heating the composition to melting temperature and then abruptly cooling it to room temperature, the researchers obtained a homogeneous mixture of boron oxide, barium fluoride, calcium oxide, sodium oxide, and nickel oxide.

“Research of physical and optical properties of glasses synthesized in this way showed that as nickel oxide is added to the composition, all optical characteristics of the initial boro-bariofluoride and sodium-calcium glass samples obtained from it improve. The density of glasses increases, the absorption spectrum increases, shifting towards longer wavelengths of radiation, and the ability of the system to shield photons carrying electromagnetic radiation increases,” explains Ali Abouhaswa, Senior Researcher of the Section of Solid State Magnetism at UrFU, a co-author of the article.

According to the scientist, the adding of nickel oxide makes the glass applicable to optoelectronic and photoelectric devices, such as gas sensors, UV-photosensors, photovoltaic cells, photocatalysts, and electrochromic devices.

“The fields of application of the glasses are wide. They can be used in goggles and welding masks to protect against ultraviolet radiation, in aircraft portholes and spacecraft, and in spacesuits for astronauts,” adds Nikolay Kudrevatykh, Head of the Section of Solid State Magnetism at UrFU and co-author of the article.

In addition, it turned out that by adding nickel oxide and increasing the density, the resulting glasses have a particular resistance to gamma radiation, the ability to significantly attenuate it and, consequently, excellent, better than other known materials, properties for protection against radiation.

“This means that synthesized boro-bariofluoridesodium-calcium glasses alloyed with nickel oxide can be used for protection against radiation, for example, in nuclear medicine,” emphasizes Nikolay Kudrevatykh.

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