A Combinatorial Method for Discovery of BaTiO3-based Positive Temperature Coefficient Resistors
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The conventional materials discovery is a kind of empirical (“trial and error”) science that of handling one sample at a time in the processes of synthesis and characterization. However, combinatorial methodologies present the possibility of a vastly increased rate of discovery of novel materials which will require a great deal of conventional laboratory work. The work presented in this thesis, involved the practice of a conceptual framework of combinatorial research on BaTiO3-based positive temperature coefficient resistor (PTCR) materials. Those including (i) fabrication of green BaTiO3 base discs via high-throughput dip-pen printing method. Preparation and formulation of BaTiO3 inks (selection of dispersant and binder/volume fraction) were studied. The shape of drying residues and the morphogenesis control of droplet drying were discussed. (ii) investigation of a fast droplet-doping method, which induced the dopant precursor solution infiltrating into the porous BT base disc. Various characterization methods were used to examine the dopant distribution in the body of disc. (iii) devising a high-throughput electrical measurement system including an integrated unit of temperature control and automatic measurement operation, and an arrayed multichannel jig. (iv) synthesis of donor-doped BaTiO3 libraries, which involved lanthanum, erbium, yttrium as donor elements and manganese as an acceptor dopant element respectively. Their temperature dependant resistivities were also explored. The work successfully developed an integrated tool including high-throughput synthesis of a large batch of libraries and high-throughput electrical property measurement for combinatorial research on BaTiO3-based PTCR ceramics. The Abstract ii combinatorial method, thus validated, has the potential to deliver dopant-doped BTbased PTCR libraries rapidly with a very wide range of dopant mixtures and concentrations for electrical property measurement and deserves to be applied to other low level dopant ceramic systems. These approaches are novel and paving the way for other new materials selection and materials research.
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