• soda-lime silicate glass;
  • ion exchange;
  • copper doping;
  • thermal expansion coefficient;
  • low angle XRD;
  • transmission electron microscopy


The process of ion exchange was used to introduce copper ions into a commercial soda lime silicate glass, the composition of which corresponds to the miscibility gap in the SiO2-Na2O system. After exchange, the samples have been thermally treated in a gaseous hydrogen atmosphere. The optical absorption of divalent copper and the concentration profiles of the exchanged (Na) and exchanging (Cu) ions are determining the effectiveness of both processes. The behaviour of the dopant in the glassy matrix has been studied on the basis of thermal expansion and X-ray diffraction measurements as well as the transmission electron microscopy observations of the composite material. It has been stated that hydrogenation of suitably exchanged specimens could be an effective procedure for obtaining glass ceramics with nanoparticles of metallic copper and semi-conducting copper oxide embedded in the glassy matrix also in the form of core-shell structures. (© 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)