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Etching Glass using Alkalis

  1. Apr 9, 2008 #1

    Claude Bile

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    Just a quick question.

    I would like to know what order of magnitude the etch rate will be for a solution with a pH of 14 on silica glass (flat surface at room temp) - are we talking nm/hr? microns/hr? mm/hr?


    Last edited: Apr 9, 2008
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 10, 2008 #2
    It's going to depend on what is in the solution.

    Lots of strong bases (AlOH is one) are stored in silica glass. So at room temp, I'll ballpark that the rate is going to be very low.Perhaps nm/month?

    You could etch glass with HF...
  4. Apr 10, 2008 #3


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    If those were my three choices, I would say it is microns/hr. Visible etching is observed during that time at that concentration so the scale must be larger than a wavelength of light (500 to 900 nm) but the rate is insufficient to completely dissolve the bottom out of glass beakers (thickness of 1-2 mm) containing pH 14 liquid.
  5. Apr 15, 2008 #4

    Claude Bile

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    Thanks for the responses.

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