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Effect of Rare Earth Elements on the Valence Electron Structure and Properties of ZrB2 Ceramics

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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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Keywords: EMPIRICAL ELECTRON THEORY; PROPERTIES; RARE EARTH ELEMENT; VALENCE ELECTRON STRUCTURE; ZRB2 CERAMICS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2009

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  • Science of Advanced Materials (SAM) is an interdisciplinary peer-reviewed journal consolidating research activities in all aspects of advanced materials in the fields of science, engineering and medicine into a single and unique reference source. SAM provides the means for materials scientists, chemists, physicists, biologists, engineers, ceramicists, metallurgists, theoreticians and technocrats to publish original research articles as reviews with author's photo and short biography, full research articles and communications of important new scientific and technological findings, encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all latest aspects of advanced materials.
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