Microstructures and grain boundaries of cubic boron nitrides

Chunlin Chen, Rong Huang, Zhongchang Wang, Naoya Shibata, Takashi Taniguchi, Yuichi Ikuhara

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    21 Citations (Scopus)


    Two types of chemically pristine polycrystalline cubic boron nitrides (c-BN) are sintered at different conditions using the starting cubic and hexagonal BN powders and their microstructures and grain boundaries are investigated systematically by transmission electron microscopy. The two c-BN samples are found to exhibit a number of twins inside their grains and have a similar grain size, despite their huge differences in the grain size of the starting powders and sintering conditions. Twin width for the c-BN sintered from hexagonal BN is significantly smaller than that for the c-BN sintered from c-BN. Grain boundaries in the two samples can be atomically abrupt without any amorphous or secondary layers and oxygen is detected merely at the grain boundaries of the c-BN sintered from the c-BN powders. Such microstructural differences have a direct impact on mechanical behaviors of the c-BN, as the Vickers hardness of the c-BN sintered from hexagonal BN powders is found to be higher than that of the c-BN sintered from the c-BN powders.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)27-31
    Number of pages5
    JournalDiamond and Related Materials
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • Cubic boron nitride
    • Grain boundaries
    • Hardness
    • High resolution electron microscopy
    • Microstructure

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
    • Chemistry(all)
    • Mechanical Engineering
    • Materials Chemistry
    • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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