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Open AccessArticle

Smelting of Scandium by Microwave Irradiation

1
Department of Chemical Science and Engineering, School of Material and Chemical, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo 152-8550, Japan
2
Department of Information and Communication System Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Okinawa College, Okinawa 905-2192, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Materials 2017, 10(10), 1138; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma10101138
Received: 2 September 2017 / Revised: 23 September 2017 / Accepted: 25 September 2017 / Published: 27 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Manufacturing Processes and Systems)
Scandium is being explored as an alloying element for aluminum alloys, which are gaining importance as high-performance lightweight structural alloys in the transportation industry. A few years ago, Sc was also found to be suitable for use in electrical devices. High-Sc-content ScAlN thin films have attracted significant attention because of their strong piezoelectricity. The piezoelectric response of ScAlN suggests that ScAlN thin films formed on a hard substrate would be suitable surface acoustic wave wideband filters for next-generation wireless communication systems. However, it is often difficult to use ScAlN thin films in MEMS devices—including acoustic ones—because of the extremely high price of metallic Sc, given the difficulty associated with smelting it. Here, we propose a novel process for smelting Sc metal by microwave irradiation. Sc metal was able to be obtained successfully from ScF3 through a microwave-irradiation-based carbon reduction reaction. The reaction temperature for this reduction process was approximately 880°C, which is half of that for the conventional smelting process involving reduction with Ca. Thus, the proposed microwave irradiation process has significant potential for use in the smelting of Sc metal. View Full-Text
Keywords: scandium; smelting process; microwave irradiation scandium; smelting process; microwave irradiation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Fujii, S.; Tsubaki, S.; Inazu, N.; Suzuki, E.; Wada, Y. Smelting of Scandium by Microwave Irradiation. Materials 2017, 10, 1138.

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