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Fabrication and Characterization of Three-Dimensional ZrO2-Toughened Al2O3 Ceramic Microdevices

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Dense three-dimensional (3D) microdevices of ZrO2-toughened Al2O3 (ZTA) were fabricated using microstereolithography and a subsequent sintering process. Using microstereolithography, 3D green bodies could be formed from a 40 vol% ZTA ceramic–resin paste. After sintering, the fabricated 3D devices are converted into dense ceramic devices without deformation. In this study, a gear (with a tooth edge of 25 m) and a photonic crystal (with a lattice constant of 500 m) were designed and fabricated. The dimensional accuracy of the fabrication process is within 20 m and the sintering shrinkage is around 26% for these microdevices. The relative density of the sintered ZTA ceramics reached 96.5% of theoretical value. The measured hardness and toughness were about 14 GPa and 11 MPa m1/2, respectively, in both the top and side surfaces. A band gap between 320 and 420 GHz was observed in the ZTA photonic crystal. The microstereolithography process can be easily applied to other ceramic materials and devices.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Joining and Welding Research Institute, Osaka University, Osaka 567-0047, Japan

Publication date: July 1, 2008


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