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Open AccessArticle

Towards In-Situ Electron Microscopy Studies of Flash Sintering

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Institute of Materials Physics, University of Goettingen, 37077 Goettingen, Germany
2
Institute of Energy and Climate Research, Materials Synthesis and Processing (IEK-1), Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, 52428 Jülich, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Ceramics 2019, 2(3), 472-487; https://doi.org/10.3390/ceramics2030036
Received: 7 June 2019 / Revised: 20 June 2019 / Accepted: 8 July 2019 / Published: 25 July 2019
Flash sintering, a special case of electric field-assisted sintering, results in accelerated densification at lower temperatures than conventional sintering methods. However, the mechanisms remain elusive despite the wide application potential. In-situ electron microscopy studies reveal shrinkage of ZnO green bodies due to both heating and heating/biasing but show no obvious effect of the current on the behavior. In contrast, thin epitaxial ZnO films deposited on an Al2O3 substrate undergo a clear flash event during in-situ voltage application in the TEM, providing the first observation of flash sintering of a thin film. The specimen was captured in the high conductivity state where grain boundary motion was observed. The microscopic origins of the high conductivity state could not be detected, but may have the same underlying physical origin as the high conductivity memristive state. View Full-Text
Keywords: ZnO; flash; sintering; field assisted sintering; densification; electric induced; green body; oxide ceramic powders; thin films ZnO; flash; sintering; field assisted sintering; densification; electric induced; green body; oxide ceramic powders; thin films
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Schwarzbach, D.; Gonzalez-Julian, J.; Guillon, O.; Roddatis, V.; Volkert, C.A. Towards In-Situ Electron Microscopy Studies of Flash Sintering. Ceramics 2019, 2, 472-487.

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