Special Issue "Minerals and Crystals in Glass"

A special issue of Minerals (ISSN 2075-163X). This special issue belongs to the section "Crystallography and Physical Chemistry of Minerals".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2019

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Alberta Silvestri

Department of Geosciences, University of Padova, Via G. Gradenigo, 6,35131 Padova, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: glass science and technology; glass alteration processes; archaeometry; applied mineralogy; isotope geochemistry

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Glass, both natural and synthetic, is generally described as a homogeneous amorphous material, but, as a matter of fact, some glass samples are rather heterogeneous materials, composed of a glassy matrix and crystalline phases, and, depending on the ratio between amorphous and crystalline phases, they can be also defined as glass-ceramics. The crystalline phases identified in glass are both newly formed crystals, precipitated, intentionally and/or unintentionally, due to suitable chemical compositions of batch, and melting conditions (e.g., wollastonite, calcium-tin silicates, calcium or lead antimonates, cuprite, and so on), and, in the case of synthetic glass, minerals, which are considered residues of used raw materials (e.g., quartz, feldspars, zircon and so on). In particular, the newly formed crystals in glass can be tailored by controlling the base-glass composition and by controlled heat treatment/crystallization of base glass and are, sometimes, produced by means of complex and various (nano)-technological processes, to impart specific thermomechanical, electrical, and/or optical properties. Therefore, the study of these crystals and minerals represents a stimulating yet challenging field of research and is proving an important tool to understand (ancient) glass-making formation and/or technology, because these inhomogeneities record phases of production history and formation processes, and allow to infer the provenance signatures of the raw materials. In this context, taking into account strict analogies that exist between the glass-crystals formation and magmatic processes, methods and analytical approaches of Earth Sciences appear to be particularly suitable for identifying chemical, mineralogical, and isotopic compositions, and micro-textures of minerals and crystals in glass and their relationships with formation processes and/or production technologies.

This Special Issue invites contributions (research papers and reviews), that deal with chemical, mineralogical, spectroscopic, micro-textural, and isotopic characterisation of minerals and crystals identified in natural and synthetic glass, in order to address questions related to the source, type and provenance of raw materials, and to describe the production technologies and formation processes of such kind of materials. In addition, papers on experimental replicas in controlled physico-chemical conditions, aiming to synthesise innovative and ancient-like materials or with tailorable thermomechanical, electrical, and/or optical properties, to test the different hypotheses on the nucleation and growth processes of the minerals and crystals identified in glass, and to propose interpretative models, will be also considered.

Prof. Alberta Silvestri
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Minerals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • (ancient) glass and glass ceramics
  • obsidian
  • bioactive glass
  • raw materials
  • newly-formed crystals
  • production technology
  • nucleation and growth
  • glass synthesis
  • experimental replicas
  • thermomechanical, electrical, optical properties
  • nano-technology

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessCommentary
Breaking Preconceptions: Thin Section Petrography For Ceramic Glaze Microstructures
Minerals 2019, 9(2), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/min9020113
Received: 16 December 2018 / Revised: 1 February 2019 / Accepted: 12 February 2019 / Published: 15 February 2019
PDF Full-text (14038 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
During the last thirty years, microstructural and technological studies on ceramic glazes have been essentially carried out through the use of Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) combined with energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX). On the contrary, optical microscopy (OM) has been considered of limited [...] Read more.
During the last thirty years, microstructural and technological studies on ceramic glazes have been essentially carried out through the use of Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) combined with energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX). On the contrary, optical microscopy (OM) has been considered of limited use in solving the very complex and fine-scale microstructures associated with ceramic glazes. As the crystallites formed inside glazes are sub- and micrometric, a common misconception is that it is not possible to study them by OM. This is probably one of the reasons why there are no available articles and textbooks and even no visual resources for describing and characterizing the micro-crystallites formed in glaze matrices. A thin section petrography (TSP) for ceramic glaze microstructures does not exist yet, neither as a field of study nor conceptually. In the present contribution, we intend to show new developments in the field of ceramic glaze petrography, highlighting the potential of OM in the microstructural studies of ceramic glazes using petrographic thin sections. The outcomes not only stress the pivotal role of thin section petrography for the study of glaze microstructures but also show that this step should not be bypassed to achieve reliable readings of the glaze microstructures and sound interpretations of the technological procedures. We suggest the adoption by the scientific community of an alternative vision on glaze microstructures to turn thin section petrography for glaze microstructures into a new specialized petrographic discipline. Such an approach, if intensively developed, has the potential to reduce the time and costs of scientific investigations in this specific domain. In fact, it can provide key reference data for the identification of the crystallites in ceramic glazes, avoiding the repetition of exhaustive protocols of expensive integrated analyses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Minerals and Crystals in Glass)

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