Journal of the American Ceramic Society, Vol.103, No.8, 4159-4166, 2020
Microstructure development and optical properties of Fe:ZnSe transparent ceramics sintered by spark plasma sintering
Fe:ZnSe transparent ceramics were prepared by spark plasma sintering. Fe:ZnSe powders synthesized via co-precipitation yielded well-dispersed particles with an average particle size of 550 nm. These powders were in the cubic phase Fe:ZnSe, indicating the successful substitution of Fe2+ for Zn2+. The highest relative density, 99.4%, was obtained by increasing the pressure and sintering time. The effects of sintering temperature, pressure, and time on the microstructure of SPS prepared ceramics were presented by micrographs. With increasing sintering temperature, from 600 degrees C to 900 degrees C, the average grain size increased from < 1 to 10 mu m. The intergranular fracture indicated no neck formation in the sintering process. High pressure was essential for the densification process. The average grain size deceased from approximately 10 to 5 mu m when the pressure was increased. Increasing the sintering time from 10 to 120 minutes lead to a change in the microstructure, from inter- to transgranular fracture, and eliminated the micropores. The as-prepared Fe:ZnSe ceramics were composed of single-phased cubic ZnSe. The sample sintered at 900 degrees C under a pressure of 90 MPa for 120 minutes yielded a transmittance of approximately 60% at 1.4 mu m and 68% at 7.5 mu m and had residual micropores as its main scattering source. There was a strong characteristic absorption peak of Fe2+ ions at around 3 mu m, which was red-shifted compared to Fe:ZnS transparent ceramics. Fe:ZnSe transparent ceramics have a reddish-brown color and it could be a promising mid-infrared laser material.
Keywords:Field Assisted Sintering Technology (FAST);mid-infrared laser materials;optical materials;properties;spark plasma sintering;transparent ceramics