IAM - Ceramic Materials and Technologies

Debonding behavior between beta-Si3N4 whiskers and oxynitride glasses with or without an epitaxial beta-SiAlON interfacial layer

  • Author: Sun, E. Y.; Becher, P. F.; Hsueh, C. H.; Painter, G. S.; Waters, S. B.; Hwang, S. L.; Hoffmann, M. J.
  • Source: ACTA MATERIALIA 47 (1999), 9, 2777–2785
  • Debonding behavior between beta-Si3N4 whiskers and oxynitride glasses with or without an epitaxial beta-SiAlON interfacial layer.

Abstract

In order to gain insight on the influence of intergranular glass on the fracture toughness of silicon nitride, the debonding behavior of the interface between the prismatic faces of beta-Si3N4 whiskers and oxynitride glasses was investigated in model systems based on various Si-(Al)-Y(Ln)-O-N (Ln: rare-earth) oxynitride glasses. It was found that while the interfacial debonding strength increased when an epitaxial beta'-SiAlON layer grew on the beta-Si3N4 whiskers, the critical angle for debonding was lowered with increasing Al and O concentrations in the SiAlON layer. Only in the absence of a SiAlON epitaxial layer, were debonding conditions altered by residual stresses imposed on the interface due to thermal-mechanical mismatch. A possible explanation for the effect of SiAlON formation and its composition on the debonding behavior is suggested by first-principles atomic cluster calculations. It is concluded that by tailoring the densification additives and hence the chemistry of the intergranular glass, ii is possible to improve the fracture resistance of silicon nitride.