Microstructural evolution of ZnO via hybrid cold sintering/spark plasma sintering

Jie Liang, Xuetong Zhao, Shenglin Kang, Jing Guo, Zhiling Chen, Yuli Long, Qian Zeng, Jianjie Sun, Lijun Yang, Ruijin Liao, Clive A. Randall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


In this work, we demonstrate a hybrid cold sintering/spark plasma sintering (CSP-SPS) process to densify ZnO ceramic with controlled grain growth. The densification of ZnO is initially activated at 85 °C, and high densities (>98%) are achieved at 200–300 °C in only 5 min with a low assisted pressure of 3.8–50 MPa. The microstructure of ZnO grains experiences a mild coarsening from ~205–680 nm during the CSP-SPS. In comparison, a much higher temperature (>770 °C) is required to sinter ZnO ceramic via SPS, and the grain size exhibits an obvious overgrowth to ~10 µm. The calculated apparent activation energy of grain growth using CSP-SPS is 69.3 ± 6 kJ/mol, which is much lower than that of SPS samples with 296.8 ± 59 kJ/mol. In addition, the conduction mechanism of the CSP-SPS and SPS samples is investigated using impedance spectroscopy. Overall, CSP-SPS is promising for the fabrication of fine ceramics with mild sintering conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5738-5746
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the European Ceramic Society
Issue number13
StatePublished - Oct 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Materials Chemistry


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