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Fabrication of transparent Sc2O3 ceramics with powders thermally pyrolyzed from sulfate

  • Ji-Guang Li (a1), Takayasu Ikegami (a1) and Toshiyuki Mori (a1)

Abstract

Scandia (Sc2O3) is a ceramic material that shows interesting thermal and optical properties, but is difficult to grow as single crystals. As an alternative, in this work we fabricated polycrystalline Sc2O3 transparent ceramics via vacuum sintering, using powders thermally pyrolyzed at 1200 °C from a scandium sulfate salt, Sc2(SO4)3 · 7.8H2O, that we prepared. Characterization of the powders was achieved by differential thermal analysis/thermogravimetry, x-ray diffractometry, Brunauer–Emmett–Teller analysis, and field-emission scanning electron microscopy. Sintering behaviors of the Sc2O3 powders were studied in air via dilatometry. The sulfate salt transforms to oxide at temperatures ≥1000 °C, and the best pyrolysis temperature for transparent ceramics fabrication is 1200 °C, at which the resultant Sc2O3 powder is good in dispersion, ultrafine in particle size (∼80 nm), and almost free from residual sulfur. Transparent ceramics were fabricated from this powder via vacuum sintering at 1625 °C or above. The ceramics sintered at 1700 °C for 4 h exhibit an in-line transmittance of approximately 56–58% in the visible light region at a sample thickness of 1.0 mm.

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