The surface tension and the viscosity of molten LiNbO3 (LN) having the congruent composition have been measured simultaneously in a temperature range from 1537 to 1756 K under argon gas and dry-air atmospheres. The present measurement technique involves surface laser-light scattering (SLLS) that detects nanometer-order-amplitude surface waves usually regarded as ripplons excited by thermal fluctuations. This technique's non-invasive nature allows it to avoid the experimental difficulties of conventional techniques resulting from the insertion of an actuator in the melt. The results of surface tension measurement obtained under a dry-air atmosphere are about 5% smaller than those obtained under an argon atmosphere near the melting temperature, and the temperature dependence of the surface tension under a dry-air atmosphere is twice that under an argon atmosphere. The uncertainty of surface tension measurement is estimated to be ±2.6% under argon and ±1.9% under dry air. The temperature dependence of viscosity can be well correlated with the results of Arrhenius-type equations without any anomalous behavior near the melting point. The viscosities obtained under a dry-air atmosphere were slightly smaller than those obtained under an argon atmosphere. The uncertainty of viscosity measurement is estimated to be ±11.1% for argon and ±14.3% for dry air. Moreover, we observed the real-time dynamic behavior of the surface tension and the viscosity of molten LN in response to argon and dry-air atmospheres.
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