What is amorphous substance

In physics, like chemistry, is amorphous material a substance in which the atoms do not form an ordered structure, but an irregular pattern and therefore only have a short-range order, but not a long-range order. Regularly structured materials are called crystals.

The term “amorphous” comes from the Greek and means “without shape”.

The condition for the amorphous state is that the atoms cannot arrange themselves regularly when a melt cools, that is, the viscosity must exceed a certain value and crystallization must not occur. Technically, for example, amorphous metal strips can be produced by rapid cooling. Another method is production from the gas phase. In the process, evaporated material condenses on substrates that are mostly cooled by liquid helium or liquid nitrogen.

Glass is a typical amorphous material. It is the amorphous form of silicon dioxide (SiO2). One of the crystalline forms is called quartz. Glass is produced by adding substances, so-called glass converters, which prevent a uniform crystal lattice. Since the atoms have a low packing density, amorphous substances have a lower density than crystalline substances. They are also not as hard and less brittle. Amorphous metals are industrially produced in the form of thin foils using rapid solidification technology. The main areas of application are magnetic materials, soft magnetic alloys (Fe, Ni, Co) and soldering foil.

See also: Wiktionary: Amorphous

Categories: Amorphous Material | Solid State Physics | Soft matter