Journal article

Transparent polycrystalline alumina using spark plasma sintering: Effect of Mg, Y and La doping

Transparent polycrystalline alumina (PCA) is a promising replacement for sapphire. Its optical properties however are highly dependent on the grain size and residual porosity which need to be controlled for real inline transmittances (RIT), that are high enough for possible applications. To achieve high RITs, doping as well as pressure assisted sintering is often used. In this study spark plasma sintering (SPS) and doping are investigated. A systematic experimental design is used to study the influence of Mg, Y and La single or co-doping (75–450ppm) as well as the SPS sintering pressure and temperature on the RIT and grain size of PCA. Using optimized sintering parameters, RITs of >50% were attained in the visible wave length (640nm) for 0.8mm thick samples for almost all doping strategies. The best RIT of 57% was for triple-doped samples at a total dopant level of 450ppm. These results are significantly better than previously published SPS studies and illustrate that SPS sintered alumina can attain high and reproducible optical transmittances under various doping and sintering conditions.

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