Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 41, Issue 23, pp 7934–7938 | Cite as

Microstructure and properties of spark plasma sintered AlN ceramics

  • M. J. LiEmail author
  • L. M. Zhang
  • Q. Shen
  • T. Li
  • M. Q. Yu


Spark plasma sintering (SPS) is a newly developed technique that enables poorly sinterable aluminum nitride (AlN) powder to be fully densified. It is addressed that pure AlN sintered by SPS has relatively low thermal conductivity. In this work, SPS of AlN ceramic was carried out with Y2O3, Sm2O3 and Li2O as sintering aids. Effects of additives on AlN densification, microstructure and properties were investigated. Addition of sintering aids accelerated the densification, lowered AlN sintering temperature and was advantageous to improve properties of AlN ceramic. Thermal conductivity and strength were found to be greatly improved with the present of Sm2O3 as sintering additive, with a thermal conductivity value about 131 Wm−1K−1 and bending strength about 330 MPa for the 2 wt% Sm2O3-doped AlN sample SPS at 1,780 °C for 5 min. XRD measurement revealed that additives had no obvious effect on the AlN lattice parameters. Observation by SEM showed that AlN ceramics prepared by SPS method manifested quite homogeneous microstructure. However, AlN grain sizes and shapes, location of secondary phases varied with the additives. The thermal conductivity of AlN ceramics was mainly affected by the additives through their effects on the growth of AlN grain and the location of liquid phases.


Y2O3 Spark Plasma Sinter Li2O Spark Plasma Sinter Process Sample Spark Plasma Sinter 



This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (50232020).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. J. Li
    • 1
    Email author
  • L. M. Zhang
    • 1
  • Q. Shen
    • 1
  • T. Li
    • 1
  • M. Q. Yu
    • 2
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Advanced Technology for Materials Synthesis and ProcessingWuhan University of TechnologyWuhanChina
  2. 2.Research Institute of Synthetic CrystalsBeijingChina

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