The ion-exchanged glasses bombarded with 80 eV, 100 eV, and 120 eV argon ions at room temperature are investigated. The optical and structural properties of ion-exchanged glasses before and after bombardment were analyzed by means of a UV-vis spectrometer, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and electron probe micro analysis, respectively. The optical absorption and transmittance spectra of ion-exchanged glasses appear as obvious changes in the UV-visible region after bombardment. The optical absorption band and transmittance properties of ion-exchanged glasses at about 369–900 nm are less sensitive to the ion bombardment energy than that at about 200–280 nm. The changes in binding energy shift and peak area ratios of non-bridging oxygen and bridging oxygen contributions to the O 1s lines were observed with increasing ion beam bombardment energy. Accompanied with out-diffusion of potassium cations during argon ion bombardment, the peak of potassium cations concentration in the exchanged region decreases and moves into the interior of glasses in different degrees. The results show that variation of structure and optical properties of the ion-exchanged glasses are indicative of alterations of the silicate network structure induced by argon ion bombardment, which provide important information for application of the ion-exchanged glasses.
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