Atomic Resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy of the Intergranular Structure of a Y2O3-Containing Silicon Nitride Ceramic

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Author(s)

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1777-1785
Journal / PublicationJournal of the American Ceramic Society
Volume86
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2003
Externally publishedYes

Abstract

High-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) employing focus-variation phase-reconstruction methods is used to image the atomic structure of grain boundaries in a silicon nitride ceramic at subangstrom resolution. Complementary energy-dispersive X-ray emission spectroscopy experiments revealed the presence of yttrium ions segregated to the 0.5-0.7-nm thin amorphous boundary layers that separate individual grains. Our objective here is probing if yttrium ions attach to the prismatic planes of the Si3N4 at the interface toward the amorphous layer, using Scherzer and phase-reconstruction imaging, as well as image simulation. Crystal structure images of grain boundaries in thin sample (<100 Å) areas do not reveal the attachment of yttrium at these positions, although lattice images from thicker areas do suggest the presence of yttrium at these sites. It is concluded that most of the yttrium atoms are located in the amorphous phase and only a few atoms may attach to the terminating prism plane. In this case, the line concentrations of such yttrium in the latter location are estimated to be at most one yttrium atom every 17 Å.

Citation Format(s)

Atomic Resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy of the Intergranular Structure of a Y2O3-Containing Silicon Nitride Ceramic. / Ziegler, A.; Kisielowski, C.; Hoffmann, M. J.; Ritchie, R. O.

In: Journal of the American Ceramic Society, Vol. 86, No. 10, 10.2003, p. 1777-1785.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review