The identification of a grain-boundary phase in hot-pressed silicon nitride by Auger electron spectroscopy
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The presence of magnesium, calcium and oxygen has been detected in the intergranular fracture surface of an Si3N4-7% MgO hot-pressed material by Auger electron spectroscopy, together with a chemical shift in the silicon Auger peak. The composition of this grain-boundary phase has been estimated as (0.40 ± 0.03) CaO. (0.75 ± 0.10) MgO. 2SiO2 by comparison with spectra obtained from a bulk glass specimen of similar composition. The reduction in strength of the hot-pressed material at temperatures above 1000° C has been attributed to the decrease in viscosity of this phase.
KeywordsSilicon Magnesium Chemical Shift Nitride Fracture Surface
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