Enhanced sintering and nonlinear dielectric properties of Ba0.6Sr0.4TiO3 ceramics with a small amount of lithium additive
The powders with the nominal compositions of Ba0.6Sr0.4TiO3+x wt.% Li2CO3 (x=0 and x=1.0) were synthesized by a citrate precursor method. The sintering behavior, structure and dielectric properties of the ceramic specimens were investigated. Compared with the lithium-free specimen (x=0), the lithium-added specimen (x=1.0) showed appreciably enhanced sintering properties, achieving a relative density of 96.0% after sintering at 900 °C. The enhanced sintering properties were related to a liquid-phase sintering mechanism. The origin of the liquid-phase was explained. The effects of the liquid-phase on the densification progress of the lithium-added specimen in different sintering stages were elucidated. The lithium addition was found to be beneficial to the nonlinear dielectric properties. The ceramic specimen with x=1.0 exhibited a figure-of-merit of 106 under a bias electric field of 20 kV/cm, higher by ~60% than the value (67) for the specimen with x=0.
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