Now, an international team of scientists have developed a brand new class of glass, made from metal-organic compounds. These new materials form glass more readily than other types, and are much more pliable.
The new metal-organic glass is made of zinc and two organic compounds, known as imidazolate and benzimidazolate. The material has the same atomic structure as silica glass, forming a pyramid shape with a zinc atom at the center and four molecules of the organic compounds surrounding it. The researchers called their creation ZIF-62.
One of the defining characteristics of glass is its smooth, non-crystalline structure, and that's the result of a very careful balancing act during production.