Monitoring faceting on ceramic surfaces

Shelley R. Gilliss, Arzu Altay, Jessica Riesterer, N. Ravishankar, C. Barry Carter

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Faceting is the transformation of a planar surface into two or more surfaces of lower energy. Metal, semiconductor and ceramic surfaces can all undergo faceting. The evolution of facets formed on the m-plane (101̄0) of alumina has been monitored using atomic-force microscopy (AFM). When heat-treated, the (101̄0) surface reconstructs into a hill-and-valley morphology. The present study investigates the manner in which facets originally form and grow to cover a surface. A gravity-loaded indenter (load of 25 grams) was used to mark a 25 μm × 25 μm square area on as-received, polished alumina specimens. An initial heat-treatment of 1400°C for 10 minutes is carried out to initiate faceting. With the indents as guides the same area can be identified and imaged after each subsequent heat-treatment. The morphology of the facets can be described as being comprised of a "simple" and "complex" surface. The simple surface corresponds to the (11̄02) plane which is stable over the course of heat treatments, whereas the complex surface gradually transforms to a lower energy surface after several heat treatments and acts as a nucleation site for new facet growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-384
Number of pages6
JournalMaterials Research Society Symposium - Proceedings
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes
EventSurface Engineering 2002 Sythesis, Characterization and Applications - Boston, MA, United States
Duration: Dec 2 2002Dec 5 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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