SrTiO3-based semiconducting ceramics are widely used to electric devices such as dielectric condensers and varistors due to their properties of high dielectric constant, high dispersion frequency and small temperature dependence of the dielectric constant. The electric properties of these ceramic devices have been studied and found to be deeply influenced by the crystal growth mechanism, the grain boundary layer characteristics and the sintering atmosphere that is represented by such factors as oxygen partial pressure and processing temperature which relate to the atom vacancy formation. Atom vacancies, which play an important role to the electrical properties, have been detected by cathodoluminescence (CL) spectroscopy with scanning electron microscopy (SEM).
A ceramic condenser (Sr0.94Ca0.05Ba0.01)0.99TiO3 was investigated by Hitomi el at: using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). The material is a boundary layer (BL) semiconducting ceramic condenser, having dielectric layers between semiconducting grains. The same condenser material was investigated in this report at the grain boundary region using high resolution (scanning) transmission electron microscope (TEMSTEM) capable of High Angle Annular Dark Field (HAADF) technique.