IAM - Ceramic Materials and Technologies

Preparation of beta-silicon nitride seeds for self-reinforced silicon nitride ceramics

  • Author: Ramesh, P. D.; Oberacker, R.; Hoffmann, M. J.
  • Source: JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CERAMIC SOCIETY 82 (1999), 6, 1608–1610
  • Preparation of beta-silicon nitride seeds for self-reinforced silicon nitride ceramics.

Abstract

This paper describes a method for the preparation of silicon nitride (Si3N4) seeds that have an average aspect ratio of similar to 4, The seeds are prepared via heat treatment of a powder mixture that contains oc-phase-rich Si3N4 and 0.5 wt% Y2O3 at a temperature of 1800 degrees C and a nitrogen pressure of 35 kPa. A Y-Si-O-N liquid forms during heat treatment; this liquid acts as a flux for seed precipitation. During cooling, the Y-Si-O-N liquid transforms to a thin intergranular grain-boundary phase and causes strong agglomeration of the seeds. The seeds can be isolated by dissolving the grain-boundary phase in hot phosphoric acid, followed by an ultrasonic treatment (for 30 min). The method can be used to produce large quantities of seeds.