Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Fracture of Silicate Glasses: Ductile or Brittle?



J -. Guin, Sheldon M. Wiederhorn


Atomic force microscopy is used to investigate the possibility of crack tip cavitation during crack growth in silicate glasses. Matching areas on both surfaces of a crack were mapped and then compared for soda-lime silicate glass and for silica glass. For both glasses surfaces matched to better than 0.3 nm normal to the surface and 5 nm parallel to the surface. We could find no evidence for cavity formation in our study and suggest that completely brittle fracture occurs in glass.
Physical Review Letters


atomic force microscopy, crack growth, fracture, glass


Guin, J. and Wiederhorn, S. (2008), Fracture of Silicate Glasses: Ductile or Brittle?, Physical Review Letters (Accessed July 15, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created October 16, 2008