Sintering behavior of ultrafine ceramic particles

J. E. Bonevich*, Laurence Marks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

10 Scopus citations


Ultrafine particles (UFPs) of aluminum oxide, formed by arc discharge, were sintered in an ultrahigh vacuum (UHV) furnace system and characterized by high resolution electron microscopy (HREM) under UHV conditions. The UFPs produced range in size from 20 to 50 nm and have highly faceted surfaces. The atomic structure of the UFPs corresponds to the cubic (γ) and orthorhombic (δ) variants of the spinel structure. In UFPs, surface faceting plays a major role in determining the final sintering geometry with sintering occurring predominantly on the closed-packed {111} facets. Surface diffusion is the predominant mechanism for sintering, as evidenced by the fact that many sintered particles have their initial adhesion structure `locked-in' during sintering with no reorientation occurring. Furthermore, the necks formed during sintering have well-defined, atomically-sharp contact angles suggesting that the neck growth process is controlled by the faceted structures and may be modeled by a mechanism similar to crystal growth due to ledges, grain boundaries, and twins. The driving force for sintering can be considered as a chemical potential difference between facet surfaces and the neck region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMaterials Research Society Symposium Proceedings
PublisherPubl by Materials Research Society
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)1558991816
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993
EventProceedings of the 3rd Biennial Meeting of Chemical Perspectives of Microelectronic Materials - Boston, MA, USA
Duration: Nov 30 1992Dec 3 1992


OtherProceedings of the 3rd Biennial Meeting of Chemical Perspectives of Microelectronic Materials
CityBoston, MA, USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials


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