Cold sintering process (CSP) has attracted great interest due to its extremely low processing temperatures, fast processing times, and simplicity to allow for the densification of ceramics and composites. Understanding the detailed mechanisms underlying low temperature densification is crucial to develop advanced materials and facilitate sustainable and cost-effective industrial implementation to come. Here, by taking BaTiO3 powder and Sr(OH)2·8H2O transient chemical flux as a model system, chemical transformation at solid/flux interfaces driving the dissolution-precipitation creep mechanism were investigated. We demonstrate that Sr(OH)2·8H2O acts both as a sintering flux and a solid solution doping additive, resulting in the formation of BaTiO3 - Ba1-xSrxTiO3 with lower Curie temperatures. Using strontium (Sr) as a tracer chemistry, transmission electron microscopy chemical mapping with energy-dispersive X-ray analysis indicates that there is a precipitation of a Ba1-xSrxTiO3 mainly at grain/grain interfaces, while grain cores remain undoped. In addition, the difference in the interfacial Sr concentration, which is influenced by the applied uniaxial pressure direction, was clearly observed. This successful visualization of compositional distribution after CSP underlines the significant role of the pressure solution creep in densification process.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ceramics and Composites
- Materials Chemistry