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01-06-2010 | Issue 6/2010

Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Electronics 6/2010

Microstructural and electrical properties of varistors prepared from coated ZnO nanopowders

Journal:
Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Electronics > Issue 6/2010
Authors:
Seyyed Ali Shojaee, Mohammad Maleki Shahraki, Mohammad Ali Faghihi Sani, Ali Nemati, Abbas Yousefi

Abstract

This paper describes a solution-based technique for fabrication of varistor grade composite nanopowders. The method consists of coating major varistor dopants on the surface of the ZnO nanoparticles. As a result, a homogenous mixture of dopants and ZnO nanoparticles will be achieved. TEM results indicated that a composite layer of dopants with the average particle size of 9 nm on the surface of ZnO nanoparticles has been successfully prepared. Sintering of the coated powders was performed in temperatures as low as 850 °C and final specimens with average particle size of 900 nm and density of 98.5% were achieved. In comparison to conventional mixing, varistors prepared from coated nanopowders exhibited superior electrical properties and microstructure homogeneity. The improvement of electrical properties can be attributed to small grain size, homogenous distribution of dopants and elimination of large Bi-Pockets. In addition, the processing route of schottky barrier formation is quite different from what is generally considered as the method of barrier formation in ZnO grain boundaries.

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