Lunar glasses are a common component of the weathering layer of the Moon, mainly originating from meteorite impacts. They have been aged for millions to billions of years and still preserve intact glass structures. A team of Chinese researchers has now systematically investigated the aging effect and anti-aging mechanism of lunar glass on the geological time scale using lunar soil samples from the Chang’e-5 mission using fine focused ion beam micro-nano-sampling and nanoindentation mechanical testing, combined with high-resolution spherical aberration transmission electron microscopy characterization.
The study showed that lunar glasses exhibit extraordinary anti-aging effects mainly attributed to their complex composition naturally selected in the special lunar environment (high entropy effect) can dramatically enhance the energy state and structural non-uniformity of quenched glass, thus greatly extending the life of the glass. Thus, glass resistance to aging can be effectively enhanced by multi-component mixing, entropy modulation and incorporation of appropriate trace elements.
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(Originally published in China Science Daily 2023-11-15 Page 1 Highlights)
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