Nanoindentation technique was employed to measure the changes in mechanical properties of a glass preform subjected to different levels of UV exposure. The results reveal that short-term exposure leads to an appreciable increase in the Young’s modulus (E), suggesting the densification of the glass, confirming the compaction–densification model. However, on prolonged exposure, E decreases, which provides what we believe to be the first direct evidence of dilation in the glass leading into the Type IIA regime. The present results rule out the hypothesis that continued exposure leads to an irreversible compaction and prove that index modulation regimes are intrinsic to the glass matrix.
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