Structural, microstructural and thermal properties of lead-free bismuth-sodium-barium-titanate piezoceramics synthesized by mechanical alloying
Bismuth-sodium-barium-titanate piezoceramics with a composition of (Bi 0.5Na0.5)0.94Ba0.06TiO3 (BNBT) were prepared by mechanical alloying (MA). Structural analysis and phase identification were performed by X-ray diffraction (XRD). Microstructural studies and chemical composition homogeneity were performed by scanning electron microscope (SEM) coupled with energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX). Furthermore, thermal properties of the as-milled powders were evaluated by thermogravimetry/differential thermal analysis (TG/DTA). During the initial milling, the constituents were transformed to the perovskite, pyrochlore, and BNT phases; in addition, partial amorphization of the structure appeared during the milling cycle. As MA progressed, transformation of pyrochlore-to-perovskite and crystallization of the amorphous phase occurred and also, the BNBT phase was significantly developed. It was found that the MA process has the ability to synthesize the BNBT powders with a submicron particle size, regular morphology, and uniform elemental distribution. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.