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Microstructure and Hardening Mechanism of K0.5Na0.5NbO3 Lead‐Free Ceramics with CuO Doping Sintered in Different Atmospheres

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In this study, we used conventional ceramics techniques to prepare lead‐free ceramics (K0.5Na0.5)NbO3x mol CuO (KNNxCu) sintered in air atmosphere and argon atmosphere, respectively, and investigated the corresponding hardening characteristics. The microstructure, P–E hysteresis loops, and X‐ray photoelectron spectroscopy results indicate that the Cu2+ ions can play different roles on the hardening mechanism in air atmosphere and argon atmosphere. The Cu2+ ions are considered to replace the Nb5+ ions for forming O2− vacancies, and act as a hardener when sintered in air. However, when sintered in argon atmosphere, a large portion of Cu2+ ions could be reduced into Cu+ ions and then replaced by Na+.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2012

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