Real time TEM observation of alumina ceramic nano-particles during compression

Emilie Calvié, Lucile Joly-Pottuz, Claude Esnouf, Philippe Clément, Vincent Garnier, Jérôme Chevalier, Yves Jorand, Annie Malchère, Thierry Epicier, Karine Masenelli-Varlot

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42 Citations (Scopus)


The behavior of alumina nano-particles taken from a commercial powder is investigated during in situ compression experiments in a transmission electron microscope (TEM). Small particles of 40. nm in diameter can undergo severe plastic deformation without failure, whereas brittle fracture is observed for 120. nm sized nano-particles. This is evidence of a critical size under which alumina, at least in the form of nano-particles, cannot be considered as brittle materials even at room temperature and a direct observation of the grinding limit generally observed during ball milling.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2067-2071
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the European Ceramic Society
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Aug


  • Ceramics
  • Compression
  • In situ
  • Nano-particles
  • Transmission electron microscopy


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