JOURNAL OF THE EUROPEAN CERAMIC SOCIETY, vol.34, no.12, pp.2905-2911, 2014 (SCI-Expanded)
Coating of alpha-beta SiAlON granules with TiCN powder led to a continuous 3D electrically conductive network formation. Here, the stability of TiCN grains following gas pressure sintering (GPS) and its effect on the electrical properties of an alpha-beta SiAlON/TiCN composite were analytically investigated by using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) based techniques. In situ formation of nano-sized SiC grains adjacent to TiCN and alpha-beta SiAlON grains were observed. These SiC grains may play a role on the high electrical conductivity of alpha-beta SiAlON/TiCN composite. Ti:C:N ratios from TiCN grains along the network showed that TiCN grains did not preserve their initial composition after sintering. Finally, Ti diffusion from TiCN grains into alpha-beta SiAlON and triple junction phases was observed. The incorporation of Ti into the SiAlON crystal lattices contributes to the high electrical conductivity of alpha-beta SiAlON/TiCN composite. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.