Infoscience

Journal article

Synthesis and Sintering of ZnO Nanopowders

Nanopowders are continuously under investigation as they open new perspectives in numerous fields. There are two main challenges to stimulating their development: sufficient low-cost, high throughput synthesis methods which lead to a production with well-defined and reproducible properties; and for ceramics specifically, the conservation of the powders' nanostructure after sintering. In this context, this paper presents the synthesis of a pure nanosized powder of ZnO (dv(50)similar to 60 nm, easily redispersable) by using a continuous Segmented Flow Tubular Reactor (SFTR), which has previously shown its versatility and its robustness, ensuring a high powder quality and reproducibility over time. A higher scale of production can be achieved based on a "scale-out" concept by replicating the tubular reactors. The sinterability of ZnO nanopowders synthesized by the SFTR was studied, by natural sintering at 900 degrees C and 1100 degrees C, and Spark Plasma Sintering (SPS) at 900 degrees C. The performance of the synthesized nanopowder was compared to a commercial ZnO nanopowder of high quality. The samples obtained from the synthesized nanopowder could not be densified at low temperature by traditional sintering, whereas SPS led to a fully dense material after only 5 min at 900 degrees C, while also limiting the grain growth, thus leading to a nanostructured material.

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