TiC nanocrystal formation from carburization of laser-grown Ti/O/C nanopowders for nanostructured ceramics.

The journal of physical chemistry. B

PubMedID: 16471514

Leconte Y, Maskrot H, Herlin-Boime N, Porterat D, Reynaud C, Gierlotka S, Swiderska-Sroda A, Vicens J. TiC nanocrystal formation from carburization of laser-grown Ti/O/C nanopowders for nanostructured ceramics. J Phys Chem B. 2006;110(1):158-63.
Refractory carbide ceramics (TiC and ZrC) raise interest as promising materials for high-temperature applications such as structural materials for the future generation of nuclear reactors. In this context, nanostructured ceramics are expected to exhibit improved thermomechanical properties as well as better behavior under irradiation when compared to conventional materials. It is therefore necessary to synthesize carbide nanocrystals of such materials to elaborate the ceramics. We report here the formation study of TiC nanocrystals through the direct carburization of Ti/O/C nanopowders grown by laser pyrolysis. A spray of titanium tetraisopropoxide was laser pyrolyzed with ethylene as the sensitizer, leading to Ti/O/C nanopowders with various C contents controlled by the synthesis conditions. Annealing treatments performed on these nanopowders under an inert atmosphere without any C addition enabled the formation of TiC grains through the carburization of the oxide phase by free C incorporated during the synthesis. The powders were characterized by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. The final TiC grain size was about 80 nm, and the grains were monocrystalline. The influence of the free C content on the grain growth during the annealing step, together with its effects on the densification of the ceramics after sintering by high-pressure flash sintering, was examined. A 93% densification was finally achieved.