Electric Field-Assisted Pressureless Sintering of Ceramic Protonic Conductors

Wednesday, 4 October 2017: 17:00
National Harbor 7 (Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center)
R. Muccillo (Federal University of ABC, Energy and Nuclear Research Institute), V. Esposito (Technical University of Denmark), D. Z. de Florio (Federal University of ABC), and E. N. S. Muccillo (Energy and Nuclear Research Institute)
Gadolinium, yttrium and samarium-doped barium cerate (BCGd, BCY and BCSm, respectively) polycrystalline green pellets were submitted to electric field-assisted pressureless sintering experiments isothermally in the temperature range 800-1200oC under 100-200 V cm-1 electric fields, limiting to 1-5 A the electric current pulse amplitude. The sintering experiments were carried out in ambient atmosphere with the pellets positioned inside a vertical dilatometer furnace with Pt-Ir electrodes connected either to a power supply for applying the electric field or to an impedance analyzer for collecting [-Z''(ω) x Z'(ω)] data to evaluate the bulk and the grain boundary contributions to the electrical resistivity. Near full density was achieved in the sintered samples. The combined results of dilatometry and impedance spectroscopy measurements before and after flash sintering show substantial improvement of the electrical conductivity of flash sintered specimens. Joule heating is assumed to be the primary effect of the electric current pulse through the specimens. Improved grain-to-grain contact and the removal of depleted chemical species due to Joule heating at the space charge region are proposed, respectively, as the reasons for the almost total disappearance of the grain boundary component in the impedance diagrams and the improvement of the bulk electrical conductivity.