High-resolution interface analysis of SiC-whisker-reinforced Si3N4 and Al2O3 ceramic matrix composites

W. Braue, Ray Carpenter, David Smith

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    28 Scopus citations


    Whisker/matrix interfaces between β-SiC whiskers and β-Si3N4 or α-Al2O3 matrices in composites were examined by high-resolution electron microscopy (HREM), and electron energy loss (ELS) and energy dispersive X-ray (EDS) spectroscopies. Most whisker/matrix interfaces were crystalline, with whiskers directly bonded to matrix crystals. Some whisker/matrix interface regions contained amorphous thin films and these occurred more often in the Si3N4 composite, which contained sintering additives, than in the Al2O3 matrix composite, which did not. No evidence for light element segregation at crystalline whisker/matrix interfaces was detected by ELS or EDS at 5 nm spatial resolution. Impurities were concentrated in glassy regions in matrix grain boundaries, triple junctions, or at infrequent whisker/matrix interfaces containing amorphous films.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)2949-2957
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of Materials Science
    Issue number6
    StatePublished - Jun 1990

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Materials Science
    • Mechanics of Materials
    • Mechanical Engineering


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