A combustion-synthesized AlN powder was investigated for use as a starting material in obtaining a high thermal conductivity AlN by microwave sintering followed by microwave reheating under a reducing atmosphere. Microwave sintering was found to proceed very quickly so that a density of 99.5% of theoretical with a thermal conductivity of 165 W/mK was achieved after sintering at 1900 °C for 5 min. The thermal conductivity could be improved by prolonging the soaking time, which is attributed to decreases in both oxygen content and secondary phases by evaporation and sublimation of the secondary phases. The reducing atmosphere was created by adding carbon particles to the AlN packing powder surrounding the specimen. The thermal conductivity could be significantly improved by microwave reheating of the sintered specimen under the reducing atmosphere. This is considered to be due to enhanced removal of the secondary phases by the reducing atmosphere. Sintering under the reducing atmosphere was found to retard densification because of the earlier removal of the secondary phases, thus resulting in a poor densification and a low thermal conductivity.
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Support of this research by the National Science Council of the Republic of China under Grant No. NSC 93-2214-E-006-013 is gratefully acknowledged.
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Chung, SL., Hsieh, CY. & Chang, CW. Enhancement of thermal conductivity in ceramics obtained from a combustion synthesized AlN powder by microwave sintering and reheating. Journal of Materials Research 23, 819–827 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1557/JMR.2008.0094