Description: Optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy were employed to examine the interfacial microstructural effects of impurities in alumina substrates used to fabricate alumina-niobium interfaces via liquid-film-assisted joining. Three types of alumina were used: undoped high-purity single-crystal sapphire; a high-purity, high-strength polycrystalline alumina; and a lower-purity, lower-strength polycrystalline alumina. Interfaces formed between niobium and both the sapphire and high-purity polycrystalline alumina were free of detectable levels of impurities. In the lower-purity alumina, niobium silicides were observed at the alumina-niobium interface and on alumina grain boundaries near the interface. These silicides formed in small-grained regions of the alumina and were found to grow from the interface into the alumina along grain boundaries. Smaller silicide precipitates found on grain boundaries are believed to form upon cooling from the bonding temperature.
Date: June 20, 2005
Creator: McKeown, Joseph T.; Sugar, Joshua D.; Gronsky, Ronald & Glaeser,Andreas M.
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