2016 Volume 24 Pages 35-39
Alkali niobate ceramic system based on (Li, Na, K)NbO3 (LNKN) has been regarded as a leading candidate for lead-free piezoelectric ceramics in which a high Curie temperature and excellent piezoelectric properties can be expected. Our current interests are focused to well-designed processing and microstructure control; however, literatures on the above-mentioned topics have remained essentially insufficient to date, although this is a crucial subject for the development of lead-free piezoceramics for harsh-environments. This study, therefore, was devoted to a new powder processing which started from fine control of Nb2O5 raw materials. As a result, the engineering of the controlled particle size and its size distribution was succeeded to realize low-temperature sintering for LNKN ceramics with high density. This result also introduced a precise evaluation of their ferroelectric domain structures under applied electrical field. The obtained facts were emphasized to prepare high-performance LNKN ceramics toward future industrial application.