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Electrical resistivity of silicon nitride-silicon carbide based ternary composites

: Zschippang, E.; Klemm, H.; Herrmann, M.; Sempf, K.; Guth, U.; Michaelis, A.


Journal of the European Ceramic Society 32 (2012), No.1, pp.157-165
ISSN: 0955-2219
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IKTS ()
composite; Si3N4; SiC; electrical resistivity; microstructure

New electrically conductive ternary composites were developed by adding 8 vol.% of ZrN or ZrB2 to a Si3N4SiC matrix. During hot pressing, ZrB2 reacted with Si3N4 to form ZrSi2, ZrN, Si and BN whereas added ZrN did not undergo any reactions in the Si3N4SiCZrN composite. The composites modified by ZrN or ZrB2 addition showed a lower resistivity (7 × 103 Ω cm and 3 × 10−1 Ω cm) compared to the matrix (3 × 104 Ω cm). Further studies on the grain size distribution and the volume ratio of conducting and non-conducting phases excluded a percolation network of ZrN and ZrSi2 grains. In fact, doping of SiC grains and modified grain boundaries as a consequence of the formation of liquid phases during sintering are suggested to be the reason for the significantly lower resistiv ity of materials containing ZrSi2. A decrease in the composite resistivity due to a subsequent heat treatment was obtained for all hot-pressed composites.