Oxynitride Research in the Nano Era
Research in nitrides and oxynitrides has experienced a significant downturn during the last 10 years – perhaps because there have been fewer new developments in the R. & D. field compared with the regular new initiatives reported in the 1980s and early 1990s, but also because the public perception is now very much that research issues associated with commercial nitride materials have been “worked out”. With the limited market (both in volume and price) for structural materials, funding bodies are tending to direct their resources into other research areas where it is perceived there are more opportunities and a larger market place. lnfluenced by these trends, new researchers at the start of their careers are tending to focus their research on other areas of ceramics or materials science, rather than striving to find new developments in what may be seen as a “worked-out” subject area. This is not to say that there is not still a considerable amount of research that can be done in the nitrides/oxynitrides field, but radical new ideas are needed, focused on topical and appreciably-sized market applications, in which the portfolio of properties offered by oxynitrides demonstrates clear advantages over cheaper and more easily prepared alternatives.
D. P. Thompson "Oxynitride Research in the Nano Era", Materials Science Forum, Vol. 554, pp. 1-9, 2007