Characterization, Microstructure, and Dielectric properties of cubic pyrochlore structural ceramics

  • Yangyang Li

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The (BMN) bulk materials were sintered at 1050°C, 1100°C, 1150°C, 1200°C by the conventional ceramic process, and their microstructure and dielectric properties were investigated by Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), Raman spectroscopy, Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) (including the X-ray energy dispersive spectrometry EDS and high resolution transmission electron microscopy HRTEM) and dielectric impedance analyzer. We systematically investigated the structure, dielectric properties and voltage tunable property of the ceramics prepared at different sintering temperatures. The XRD patterns demonstrated that the synthesized BMN solid solutions had cubic phase pyrochlore-type structure when sintered at 1050°C or higher, and the lattice parameter (a) of the unit cell in BMN solid solution was calculated to be about 10.56Å. The vibrational peaks observed in the Raman spectra of BMN solid solutions also confirmed the cubic phase pyrochlore-type structure of the synthesized BMN. According to the Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) images, the grain size increased with increasing sintering temperature. Additionally, it was shown that the densities of the BMN ceramic tablets vary with sintering temperature. The calculated theoretical density for the BMN ceramic tablets sintered at different temperatures is about 6.7521 . The density of the respective measured tablets is usually amounting more than 91% and 5 approaching a maximum value of 96.5% for sintering temperature of 1150°C. The microstructure was investigated by using Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope (STEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD). Combined with the results obtained from the STEM and XRD, the impact of sintering temperature on the macroscopic and microscopic structure was discussed. The relative dielectric constant ( ) and dielectric loss ( ) of the BMN solid solutions were measured to be 161-200 and (at room temperature and 100Hz-1MHz), respectively. The BMN solid solutions have relative high dielectric constant and low dielectric loss. With increasing sintering temperature, the dielectric constant showed the maximum at 1150°C. The leakage current of BMN ceramic material is extraordinary small. When the voltage and thickness of the BMN capacitor are 4000V and 300um, the leakage current amounts only about 0.13-0.65 . The excellent physical and electrical properties make BMN thin films promising for potential tunable capacitor applications.
Date of AwardMay 2013
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Physical Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorTala'at Al-Kassab (Supervisor)


  • cubic pyrochlore
  • dielectric constant
  • loss tangent
  • leakage current

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