Molecular Network Reinforcement of Sol–Gel Glasses


  • The authors would like to thank Steve Cohen for electrical measurements and Eva Simonyi for nanoindentation measurements


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Mechanical properties of organic/ inorganic thin-films prepared from bridged silicon precursors have been investigated. The Young's modulus follows a linear decay when porosity is introduced, a unique observation as compared to traditional organosilicates. Remarkably, in the dense state, fracture energies of 15–17 J.m–2 were measured, values that are larger than those for dense SiO2 (10 J.m–2), dispelling the common belief that all organosilicates are fragile and prone to fracture.