Electric Field/Current-Assisted Sintering of Optical Ceramics

  • Hidehiro YoshidaEmail author
Living reference work entry


This chapter aims to provide an updated and comprehensive description of the development of electric field/current-assisted sintering (ECAS) technique for the production of dense, structural/functional ceramics, particularly transparent polycrystalline ceramics. ECAS is gaining interest in recent decades due to the accelerated consolidation compared to conventional, pressureless sintering and pressure-assisted sintering (such as hot-pressing). In particular, spark plasma sintering (SPS) or pulsed electric current-assisted sintering (PECS), in which pulsed direct current is applied to directly heat material up under compressive stress, has been extensively studied as an extremely powerful tool capable of producing nanoceramics and transparent ceramics in a relatively short sintering time and low sintering temperature, being promoted for practical use. The short sintering time and low sintering temperature are in fact desirable for attaining high transparency and excellent mechanical properties for polycrystalline materials.

ECAS process is still drastically improving; new findings and technologies are being actively reported. For instance, flash sintering, where densification occurs almost immediately (typically <5 s) under strong electric field, has been developed in recent decade and has been attracting extensive attention as an innovative sintering technique. In this chapter, the earlier experimental works on SPS methods and characteristic properties of the produced transparent materials are summarized, and recent attempts for elucidation of the underlying mechanisms responsible for the SPS are briefly introduced.


Electric current Electric field Electric current-assisted sintering Spark plasma sintering Oxide ceramics Densification Grain size Mechanical strength 



3 mol% yttria-stabilized tetragonal zirconia polycrystal


Direct current


Electric field/current-assisted sintering technique


Electron energy loss spectrometry


Hydroxyapatite, Ca10(PO4)6(OH)2


Hot isostatic pressing


Hot pressing




Pulsed electric current-assisted sintering


Spark plasma sintering


Tetraethyl orthosilicate


Yttrium aluminum garnet, Y3Al5O12


Y2O3-stabilized ZrO2


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Materials Science, School of EngineeringThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

Section editors and affiliations

  • Roy Johnson
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Knowledge Management of Nanoscience and TechnologyInternational Advanced Research Centre for Powder Metallurgy and New Materials (ARCI)HyderabadIndia

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