Analysis of reactions during sintering of CuO-doped 3Y-TZP nano-powder composites

Aloysius J.A. Winnubst, S. Ran, E.A. Speets, David H.A. Blank

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3Y-TZP (yttria-doped tetragonal zirconia) and CuO nano powders were prepared by co-precipitation and copper oxalate complexation–precipitation techniques, respectively. During sintering of powder compacts (8 mol% CuO-doped 3Y-TZP) of this two-phase system several solid-state reactions clearly influence densification behaviour. These reactions were analysed by several techniques like XPS, DSC/TGA and high-temperature XRD. A strong dissolution of CuO in the 3Y-TZP matrix occurs below 600 °C, resulting in significant enrichment of CuO in a 3Y-TZP grain-boundary layer with a thickness of several nanometres. This “transient” liquid phase strongly enhances densification. Around 860 °C a solid-state reaction between CuO and yttria as segregated to the 3Y-TZP grain boundaries occurs, forming Y2Cu2O5. This solid-state reaction induces the formation of the thermodynamic stable monoclinic zirconia phase. The formation of this solid phase also retards densification. Using this knowledge of microstructural development during sintering it was possible to obtain a dense nano–nano composite with a grain size of only 120 nm after sintering at 960 °C.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)2549-2557
JournalJournal of the European Ceramic Society
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • IR-71859
  • METIS-257194

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