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Entering a New Dimension in Powder Processing for Advanced Ceramics Shaping

Sänger, Johanna Christiane; Pauw, Brian Richard; Riechers, Birte; Zocca, Andrea; Rosalie, Julian; Maaß, Robert; Sturm, Heinz; Günster, Jens

Filigree structures can be manufactured via two‐photon polymerization (2PP) operating in the regime of nonlinear light absorption. For the first time, it is possible to apply this technique to the powder processing of ceramic structures with a feature size in the range of the critical defect sizes responsible for brittle fracture and, thus, affecting fracture toughness of high‐performance ceramics. In this way, tailoring of advanced properties can be achieved already in the shaping process. Traditionally, 2PP relies on transparent polymerizable resins, which are diametrically opposed to the usually completely opaque ceramic resins and slurries. Here a transparent and photocurable suspension of nanoparticles (resin) with very high mass fractions of yttria‐stabilized zirconia particles (YSZ) is presented. Due to the extremely well‐dispersed nanoparticles, scattering of light can be effectively suppressed at the process‐relevant wavelength of 800 nm. Sintered ceramic structures with a resolution of down to 500 nm are obtained. Even at reduced densities of 1–4 g cm−3, the resulting compressive strength with 4.5 GPa is equivalent or even exceeding bulk monolithic yttria‐stabilized zirconia. A ceramic metamaterial is born, where the mechanical properties of yttria‐stabilized zirconia are altered by changing geometrical parameters, and gives access to a new class of ceramic materials.
Published in: Advanced Materials, 10.1002/adma.202208653, Wiley