KSN Vikrant, H Wang, A Jana, H Wang, RE García “Flash sintering incubation kinetics.” npj Computational Materials 6(1): 1-8, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41524-020-00359-7
The microstructural mechanisms leading to onset of the flash sintering are demonstrated experimentally and theoretically for Yttria Stabilized Zirconia, YSZ. Three regimes leading to flash event are identified: (1) Radiation-dominated regime, where the oven controls the heating of the sintered sample, and a small subset of particle-particle contacts and surfaces of the green body define percolative paths for the charge to flow along and across the interfaces; (2) Transition regime, where charge transport is suppressed across particle contact misorientations and deflects to surficial and small angle particle contact misorientations. As a result, internal Joule heating takes over externally-driven radiation heating. Finally, (3) Percolative regime, where the concentration of oxygen vacancies drastically increases at particle contacts, surfaces, and triple junctions, and enables charge to flow through multiple paths, generating large amounts of Joule heating, resulting in the onset of a flash event. The validated theory sets the stage to rationalize the microstructural evolution and charge transport on a ceramic green body during flash sintering.