Effect of Rare Earth Elements on the Valence Electron Structure and Properties of ZrB2 Ceramics
To forecast properties of ZrB2 solid solutions with addition of rare earth elements, their valence electron structure was calculated by use of the empirical electron theory (EET) of solids and molecules, and effect of rare earth elements on the valence electron structure and properties of the ZrB2 ceramics has been studied. The results show that the hybridization steps of Zr and B atoms of the ZrB2 solid solutions with the rare earth elements are still A16 and 5, respectively. The hybridization step of all rare earth elements is A1. The covalent electron numbers and bonding energy of the strongest bonds in the ZrB2 matrix all decrease with addition of rare earth elements, among which La decreases most sharply. These suggest that the addition of rare earth elements will decrease the hardness, crystal cohesive energy and melting point of ZrB2 matrix, among which the drop degree with La addition is the biggest and that with Sc addition is the smallest. With addition of rare earth elements, strength and toughness of ZrB2 matrix keep invariant. In a word, its sintering properties are improved and its densities are increased.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: December 1, 2009
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