A brief review is given of the ways in which the local structure in glass can influence the microstructure that supports ionic transport. This in turn contributes to the co-operative nature of ion dynamics and ways in which this underpins the ‘mixed alkali effect’ are discussed. Glass microstructure too is expected to affect glass fracture as well as the chemistry of glass surfaces. In melts, though, these restrictions appear to vanish as the rigidity of intermediate range order is lost.

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