JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN CERAMIC SOCIETY, vol.101, no.3, pp.1074-1086, 2018 (SCI-Expanded)
In recent years, potassium sodium niobate (K0.5Na0.5NbO3, KNN) has become popular and promising among perovskite lead-free piezoceramic systems. In this study, the chemical stability of KNN powders in aqueous medium was investigated as a function of pH, time, and powder surface area. To better understand the dissolution behavior of the complex KNN stoichiometry, subconstituents such as potassium niobate (KNbO3, KN) and sodium niobate (NaNbO3, NN) were investigated separately first. Results showed that all of the cations in the structure underwent dissolution in different values. Indicating that KNN undergoes incongruent dissolution in aqueous medium, the dissolution of A site cations was higher at lower pH while the dissolution of B site cations increased at higher initial pH. The order of released cation concentrations (C-A1=K>C-A2= Na>C-B=Nb) fits with inverse relationship of cation field strength (FS) order, B=Nb-FS(5+)>A(2)=Na-FS(+)>A(1)=K-FS(+), at pH 4, 7 and 10 for NN, KN, and KNN. Calculated diffuse layer thickness from the ICP data confirmed to outer amorphous layer in TEM image. Also, the ratio of normalized cation concentration versus surface area of powders showed that incongruent dissolution kinetic was driven by the diffusion step.