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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2013, Article ID 561895, 7 pages
Research Article

Spark Plasma Sintering and Densification Mechanisms of Antimony-Doped Tin Oxide Nanoceramics

1State Key Lab of Advanced Technology for Materials Synthesis and Processing, Wuhan University of Technology, Wuhan 430070, China
2Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of California Davis, CA 95616, USA

Received 22 February 2013; Revised 18 April 2013; Accepted 23 April 2013

Academic Editor: Bikramjit Basu

Copyright © 2013 Junyan Wu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Densification of antimony-doped tin oxide (ATO) ceramics without sintering aids is very difficult, due to the volatilization of SnO2, formation of deleterious phases above 1000°C, and poor sintering ability of ATO particles. In this paper, monodispersed ATO nanoparticles were synthesized via sol-gel method, and then ATO nanoceramics with high density were prepared by spark plasma sintering (SPS) technology using the as-synthesized ATO nanoparticles without the addition of sintering aids. The effect of Sb doping content on the densification was investigated, and the densification mechanisms were explored. The results suggest that ATO nanoparticles derived from sol-gel method show good crystallinity with a crystal size of 5–20 nm and Sb is incorporated into the SnO2 crystal structure. When the SPS sintering temperature is 1000°C and the Sb doping content is 5 at.%, the density of ATO nanoceramics reaches a maximum value of 99.2%. Densification mechanisms are explored in detail.