The Melting Point of Silicon Dioxide

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The melting point of silicon dioxide is around 1700 degC. It is used in building industry as well as for making concrete. In addition to that, it is the main source of metallurgical grade silicon.

Silicon dioxide has a unique macromolecular structure. It has thousands of covalent bonds. These bonds are formed from the interaction of the valence electron density of silicon with the valence electron density of oxygen atoms. This phenomenon gives the material its properties. SiO2 is also known to undergo several phase transitions. Some of these include CaCl2-type, a-PbO2 type, stishovite, and others.

When the pressure increases, it causes silicates to soften. But this does not translate into a higher temperature through the mantle. If the geotherm of a planet is high, the difference becomes more pronounced.

This effect can be seen in the melting curves of sulphur oxide and silicon dioxide. Sulphur oxide has lower boiling and melting points than silica. However, its glass transition temperature is a lot higher than silicon dioxide’s.

A melting curve is a collection of the highest temperature melting points of different materials. While many scientists are trying to use the melting curve to determine the internal structures of extrasolar planets, current equations of state are not yet being applied.

To get an accurate melting point, several simulations are required. One can test the convergence of the time and pressure steps by performing 5000 time steps. Each time step is a few seconds. And then, by Bayesian analysis, the correct melting temperature is obtained.

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