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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13(4), 5278-5289; doi:10.3390/ijms13045278
Article

Synthesis Mechanism of Low-Voltage Praseodymium Oxide Doped Zinc Oxide Varistor Ceramics Prepared Through Modified Citrate Gel Coating

1
,
1,2,*  and 2
1 Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology Laboratory, Institute of Advanced Technology, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia 2 Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 UPM Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 February 2012 / Revised: 31 March 2012 / Accepted: 12 April 2012 / Published: 24 April 2012
(This article belongs to the Section Material Sciences and Nanotechnology)
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Abstract

High demands on low-voltage electronics have increased the need for zinc oxide (ZnO) varistors with fast response, highly non-linear current-voltage characteristics and energy absorption capabilities at low breakdown voltage. However, trade-off between breakdown voltage and grain size poses a critical bottle-neck in the production of low-voltage varistors. The present study highlights the synthesis mechanism for obtaining praseodymium oxide (Pr6O11) based ZnO varistor ceramics having breakdown voltages of 2.8 to 13.3 V/mm through employment of direct modified citrate gel coating technique. Precursor powder and its ceramics were examined by means of TG/DTG, FTIR, XRD and FESEM analyses. The electrical properties as a function of Pr6O11 addition were analyzed on the basis of I-V characteristic measurement. The breakdown voltage could be adjusted from 0.01 to 0.06 V per grain boundary by controlling the amount of Pr6O11 from 0.2 to 0.8 mol%, without alteration of the grain size. The non-linearity coefficient, α, varied from 3.0 to 3.5 and the barrier height ranged from 0.56 to 0.64 eV. Breakdown voltage and α lowering with increasing Pr6O11 content were associated to reduction in the barrier height caused by variation in O vacancies at grain boundary.
Keywords: citrate gel; praseodymium oxide; varistors; zinc oxide citrate gel; praseodymium oxide; varistors; zinc oxide
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).
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Wan Abdullah, W.R.; Zakaria, A.; Ghazali, M.S.M. Synthesis Mechanism of Low-Voltage Praseodymium Oxide Doped Zinc Oxide Varistor Ceramics Prepared Through Modified Citrate Gel Coating. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13, 5278-5289.

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