Thermal and chemical methods for producing zinc silicate (willemite): A review

Masafumi Takesue, Hiromichi Hayashi, Richard L. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

152 Citations (Scopus)


Thermal and chemical methods for producing zinc silicate, Zn2SiO4 phosphor on industrial and laboratory scales are reviewed. Zinc silicate has a promising future in advanced materials as a highly versatile luminescent material due to the wide range of multi-colors that can be obtained from various guest ions. Candidates for future industrial methods of producing zinc silicate are critically reviewed from the point of view of phase formation and compared with the conventional solid-state reaction. Conventional methods require calcination at temperatures higher than 1000 °C and long reaction times to form Zn2SiO4 phase and these processes limit particle shape and size. Sol-gel methods are performed in a solvent at ambient pressure, while hydrothermal and solvothermal methods tend use high temperatures and high pressures, and especially supercritical water methods tend use conditions higher than 400 °C and 25 MPa. Hydrothermal and sol-gel literature shows that crystallization of Zn2SiO4 requires at least temperatures of around 100 °C. Of all the growth methods, supercritical water is able to bring about phase formation in the shortest reaction time. Vapor methods are performed with a gas phase as the reaction medium. Vapor and sol-gel methods require post-calcination for crystallization and have the advantage of providing characteristic particles such as uniform shapes, spherical particles, or nano-sized particles by varying the experimental conditions; they may be combined with the other crystallization routes in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-124
Number of pages27
JournalProgress in Crystal Growth and Characterization of Materials
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Sep


  • A1. Phase formation
  • A1. Size and morphology control
  • A1. recrystallisation
  • A2. Supercritical hydrothermal synthesis
  • B1. Zinc Silicate - Willemite
  • B2. Phosphors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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