The Effect of Heat-Treatment on Thermal Conductivity of Silicon Nitride Ceramics
Alpha- or beta-Si3N4 powder with larger grain size was uses as starting material, and the effect of heat-treatment on thermal conductivity of Si3N4 ceramics using MgO, Y2O3 and SiO2 as sintering additives was investigated in terms of their microstructure and the amount of grain boundary phase. Most of the components derived from sintering additives existed as glassy phase in sintered Si3N4. After heat-treatment at 1950oC for 8 h, the amount of glassy phase significantly decreased, and then small amount of glassy phase existed in Si3N4 ceramics was crystallized as Y2O3 and Y2Si3N4O3. In the case of Si3N4 ceramics using SN-7 powder, thermal conductivity of heat-treated Si3N4 was around twice of the value of sintered Si3N4, and the thermal conductivity was increased from 41.4 to 87.2 W/m•K due to not only the reduction of grain boundary phase but also the grain growth. In the case of Si3N4 using SN-F1 powder, thermal conductivity of Si3N4 ceramics was also significantly increased from 36.0 to 73.2 W/m•K after heat-treatment. In this case, the reduction of grain boundary phase mainly affected the thermal conductivity of Si3N4 ceramics because the grain size of heat-treated Si3N4 was nearly the same as that of sintered Si3N4. The reduction of grain boundary phase from Si3N4 was effective for the improvement of their thermal conductivity in addition to grain growth of Si3N4.
Takashi Goto, Yi-Bing Cheng and Takashi Akatsu
K. Yoshida et al., "The Effect of Heat-Treatment on Thermal Conductivity of Silicon Nitride Ceramics", Key Engineering Materials, Vol. 484, pp. 52-56, 2011