Use of computer simulation to aid the understanding of microstructural changes observed in heat-treated AIN ceramics

Masahiko Tajika, Hideaki Matsubara, William Rafaniello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


A parametric computational study, using the Monte Carlo method, was performed to examine the effect of γs1ss value and Monte Carlo step (MCS) on the key microstructural characteristics of aluminum nitride (AlN)/yttrium aluminate system. The γs1ss values studied in the simulation ranged from 0.1 to 1.0 and covered the non-wetting and wetting situations for this liquid phase sintered material. Grain morphology and contiguity of the resultant microstructures were determined. Validation experiments were performed on sintered and heat-treated AlN ceramics to study the effect of time, temperature, and grain boundary phase level on the microstructural development. In addition to contiguity, dihedral angle and grain boundary phase chemistry were also measured. The mimicking of experimental and computational results suggested that the remarkable microstructural changes observed during heat treatment at 1800°C might be the result of variations in the γs1ss value with temperature. There was also good agreement between the simulated microstructures and the AlN ceramics with different liquid phase fractions. Dihedral angle measurements of the ceramic materials confirmed the appropriateness of the γs1ss values used in the simula-tion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1156-1159
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the Ceramic Society of Japan
Issue number1252
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Dec


  • Aluminum nitride
  • Computer simulation
  • Dihedral angle
  • Grain boundary energy
  • Heat treatment
  • Interfacial energy
  • Liquid phase
  • Monte carlo method

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ceramics and Composites
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Materials Chemistry


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