Multiple grain boundary transitions in ceramics: A case study of alumina

Shen J. Dillon, Martin P. Harmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is a growing body of the literature that suggests that there are grain boundary structures that exist in ceramic systems that are not predicted by bulk thermodynamics. Transitions between the various grain boundary structures are not well understood either experimentally or theoretically. This study identifies six different types of grain boundary structures present in the alumina system. These grain boundary structures were directly correlated with significantly different grain boundary mobilities. There is a general trend towards increasing grain boundary disorder and increasing grain boundary mobility with increasing temperature. This is the first time such a broad range of behavior has been observed in a single system. The results have many implications on understanding grain boundary transport phenomena in ceramic systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5247-5254
Number of pages8
JournalActa Materialia
Issue number15
StatePublished - Sep 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Abnormal grain growth
  • Grain boundary structure
  • Grain boundary wetting
  • Segregation
  • Wetting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • General Materials Science
  • Metals and Alloys


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