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J. Korean Ceram. Soc. > Volume 48(6); 2011 > Article
Journal of the Korean Ceramic Society 2011;48(6): 641.
doi: https://doi.org/10.4191/kcers.2011.48.6.641
Influence of Sintering Atmosphere on Abnormal Grain Growth Behaviour in Potassium Sodium Niobate Ceramics Sintered at Low Temperature
John G. Fisher, Si-Young Choi1, Suk-Joong L. Kang
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology
1Korea Institute of Materials Science
ABSTRACT
The present study aims to identify the effect of sintering atmosphere [$O_2$, 75$N_2$-25 $H_2$ (mol%) and $H_2$] on microstructural evolution at the relatively low sintering temperature of 1040$^{circ}C$. Samples sintered in $O_2$ showed a bimodal microstructure consisting of fine matrix grains and large abnormal grains. Sintering in 75 $N_2$ - 25 $H_2$ (mol %) and $H_2$ caused the extent of abnormal grain growth to increase. These changes in grain growth behaviour are explained by the effect of the change in step free energy with sintering atmosphere on the critical driving force necessary for rapid grain growth. The results show the possibility of fabricating $(K_{0.5}Na_{0.5})NbO_3$ at low temperature with various microstructures via proper control of sintering atmosphere.
Key words: Lead-free piezoelectric, Grain growth, Grain boundaries, Sintering atmosphere, Niobates
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