Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Secondary Phase Evolution in Silicon Nitride During Creep and Heat Treatment



F Lofaj, H Gu, A Okada, Sheldon M. Wiederhorn, H Kawamoto


The microstructure of a ytterbia- and yttria-containing grade of silicon nitride, SN 88, was investigated after it had been annealed in nitrogen, in air and crept in air. We were particularly interested in phase transformation within the secondary silicate phases at the grain boundaries. X-ray diffraction and electron microscopy studies showed a gradual transformation of Y5(SiO4)3N and Yb4Si2N2O7 present in the as-received material into (Y/Yb)2SiO5 and epitaxially deposited Si3N4. In air, the transformation started at the surface and progressed into the interior, while in nitrogen the transformation occurred partially throughout the body. We suggest that Y5(SiO4)3N and Yb4Si2N2O7 reacted with silica to form (Y/Yb)2SiO5 and Si3N4. Changes in the composition due to these reactions and to an accompanying reduction in the amount of silica in the microstructure account for an increase of creep resistance after annealing.
Journal of the American Ceramic Society


creep, phase evolution, secondary phase, silicon nitride, transformation


Lofaj, F. , Gu, H. , Okada, A. , Wiederhorn, S. and Kawamoto, H. (2021), Secondary Phase Evolution in Silicon Nitride During Creep and Heat Treatment, Journal of the American Ceramic Society (Accessed June 23, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created October 12, 2021