Nanostructured polycrystalline LaB6 ceramics were prepared by the reactive spark plasma sintering method, using boron nanopowders and LaH 2 powders with a particle size of about 30 nm synthesized by hydrogen dc arc plasma. The reaction mechanism of sintering, crystal structure, microstructure, grain orientations and properties of the materials were investigated using differential scanning calorimetry, X-ray diffraction, Neutron powder diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, transmission electron microscopy and electron backscattered diffraction. It is shown that nanostructured dense LaB6 with a fibrous texture can be fabricated by SPS at a pressure of 80 MPa and temperature of 1300 °C for 5 min. Compared with the coarse polycrystalline LaB6 prepared by traditional methods, the nanostructured LaB6 bulk possesses both higher mechanical and higher thermionic emission properties. The Vickers hardness was 22.3 GPa, the flexural strength was 271.2 MPa and the maximum emission current density was 56.81 A cm-2 at a cathode temperature of 1600 °C. © 2010 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research
Choose a citation style from the tabs below