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US20090135546A1 - Nano complex oxide doped dielectric ceramic material, preparation method thereof and multilayer ceramic capacitors made from the same - Google Patents

Nano complex oxide doped dielectric ceramic material, preparation method thereof and multilayer ceramic capacitors made from the same Download PDF

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US20090135546A1
US20090135546A1 US12277994 US27799408A US20090135546A1 US 20090135546 A1 US20090135546 A1 US 20090135546A1 US 12277994 US12277994 US 12277994 US 27799408 A US27799408 A US 27799408A US 20090135546 A1 US20090135546 A1 US 20090135546A1
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dielectric
nano
ceramic
oxide
complex
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Xiaohui Wang
Zhibin Tian
Tian Wang
Longtu Li
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Tsinghua University
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Tsinghua University
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Abstract

The present invention provides a nano complex oxide doped dielectric ceramic material used for a multilayer ceramic capacitor using a base metal as a material of internal electrodes. The doped dielectric ceramic material comprises barium titanate and a nano complex oxide dopant, wherein the molar ratio of the barium titanate to the nano complex oxide dopant is in the range of (90˜98):(2˜10), the average particle size of the barium titanate is 50˜300 nm and the nano complex oxide dopant has the following formula (1): w A+x B+y C+z D. The present invention also provides processes for preparing the nano complex oxide doped dielectric ceramic material and ultrafine-grained and temperature-stable multilayer ceramic capacitors using the nano complex oxide doped dielectric ceramic material as the material of dielectric layers.

Description

    TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • [0001]
    The present invention relates to a dielectric ceramic material. Particularly, the present invention relates to a nano complex oxide doped dielectric ceramic material used for an ultrafine grained and temperature-stable multilayer ceramic capacitors employing a base metal such as nickel as the material of internal electrodes.
  • TECHNICAL BACKGROUND
  • [0002]
    With rapid development of various types of electronic devices, there is a tendency that these devices and products are smaller in size and larger in capacitance. The component parts for these devices are also increasingly produced in compact and lightweight design. The means for mounting the electronic components are also changing to surface mounting technology (SMT). Small components such as capacitor and resistor are called “chip components”.
  • [0003]
    Multilayer Ceramic Capacitor (MLCC) is a widely used typical chip component. It is generally fabricated by forming alternating layers of an internal electrode forming paste and a dielectric layer-forming paste. Such layers are typically formed by sheeting, printing or similar techniques, followed by concurrent firing.
  • [0004]
    The Electronic Industry Association (EIA) prescribes a standard for temperature coefficient of capacitance (TCC) for a type of MLCC known as the X5R/X7R capacitors. The X5R characteristic requires that with reference to the capacitance at 25° C., the change of the capacitance should be within ±15% over the temperature range from −55° C. to 85° C., and the dielectric loss is no more than 2.5%. The X7R characteristic requires that with reference to the capacitance at 25° C., the change of the capacitance be within ±15% over the temperature range from −55° C. to 125° C., and the dielectric loss is no more than 2.5%.
  • [0005]
    When MLCC based on BaTiO3 were sintered in air at high temperatures, it is required to use noble metals (e.g., palladium, platinum, etc.) as internal electrodes, which do not melt and do not oxidize even when being fired in an atmosphere with a high partial pressure of oxygen. However, use of such noble metals becomes a barrier to cut down the production cost of multilayer ceramic capacitors. For example, the cost of internal electrodes occupies about 30 to 70% of the production cost of multilayer ceramic capacitors. For the reasons mentioned above, it is preferred to use a base metal such as Ni, Cu as the material of internal electrodes. However, if such base metals are used as a material for internal electrodes and fired in the conventional firing conditions of the dielectric ceramic materials, they would be oxidized easily and lose functions as the internal electrodes. Thus, in order to use such a base metal as a material for internal electrodes of multilayer ceramic capacitors, it is required to dope some elements such as Mn or Mg to avoid semiconductorization of BaTiO3 based dielectric material, and required to be fired in a neutral or reducing atmosphere with a low partial pressure of oxygen, so that to ensure sufficient insulation resistance and good dielectric properties.
  • [0006]
    To meet the requirements above, it has been proposed some non-reducible dielectric ceramic materials. For example, JP-A-63-103861 discloses a composition of BaTiO3—MnO—MgO-Rare earth element system. However, this dielectric ceramic composition is of no practical use since its insulation resistance and temperature coefficient of capacitor are affected by the grain size of the main component BaTiO3, thus making it difficult to control the composition to obtain stable dielectric properties.
  • [0007]
    In US-20040229746A1, a composition of BaTiO3—Mn3O4—Y2O3—Ho2O3—CaCO3—SiO2—B2O3—Al2O3—MgO—CaO is disclosed. Although it can be sintered at 1200° C˜1300° C., the grain size is larger than 500 nm, which is not in favor of reducing the thickness of the dielectric layers.
  • [0008]
    In DE-19918091A1, a composition of BaTiO3—MgO—MnO—V2O5—Al2O3—Ho2O3—BaCO3—SrO—CaO—CoO—ZrO2 is disclosed. It satisfies the X7R characteristics: the dielectric constant can be adjusted at 2000-4000. However, the sintering temperature for this system is too high, over 1300° C. and the TCC at −55° C. or 125° C. is near −15%. Thus, the composition is not suitable for industrial production.
  • [0009]
    The development of electronic equipments towards miniaturization and high performance requires smaller multilayer ceramic capacitors (MLCCs) for industry application. The thickness of dielectric layer becomes thinner and thinner, from 10 μm to 5 μm, 2 μm, 1 μm, and even below 1 μm. In order to ensure the reliability of MLCCs, the corresponding grain size should be reduced from 1000 nm to 500 nm, 200 nm, 100 nm, and even smaller. Meanwhile, the grain size should be very uniform. However, the reducing of the grain size generally induces the decreasing of the dielectric constant. In US-62709906B1, when the grain size of the ceramic reduces to 100 nm˜200 nm, the dielectric constant is 1600˜1800, lower than 2000.
  • [0010]
    Therefore, the problem that this invention intends to solve is to control the composition, microstructure and sintering process of the dielectric ceramic material to obtain a dielectric material suitable to be used for an ultrafine grained and temperature-stable multilayer ceramic capacitor.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0011]
    The present invention provides a nano complex oxide doped dielectric ceramic material used for a multilayer ceramic capacitor using a base metal as a material of internal electrodes. The doped dielectric ceramic material comprises barium titanate and a nano complex oxide dopant, wherein the molar ratio of the barium titanate to the nano complex oxide dopant is in the range of (90˜98):(2˜10), the average particle size of the barium titanate is 50˜300 nm and the nano complex oxide dopant has the following formula (1):
  • [0000]

    w A+x B+y C+z D   (1)
  • [0000]
    wherein, A represents one or more selected from the group consisting of CaTiO3, CaO, BaO, SrO and MgO; B represents one or more selected from the group consisting of MnO2, Co2O3, Co3O4, Fe2O3 and Y2O3; C represents one or more selected from the group consisting of SiO2, B2O3 and Li2O; D represents an oxide of Re, wherein Re is one or more rare-earth elements selected from the group consisting of La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb and Lu; w, x, y and z are molar percentages of the oxides with respect to the BaTiO3, wherein w is 0.01 to 2%, x is 0.01 to 3%, y is 0.1 to 6%, and z is 0 to 4%.
  • [0012]
    The dielectric ceramic material of the present invention can be prepared by a chemical coating process, wherein the doped elements are coated on the surface of the barium titanate particles through a co-precipitation process.
  • [0013]
    The chemical coating process comprises the following steps:
  • [0014]
    1. Adding barium titanate powders into a solvent selected from de-ionized water, ethanol, propanol, isopropanol or the like and milling to obtain a well dispersed suspension of barium titanate, wherein the average particle size of the barium titanate powders is 50˜300 nm;
  • [0015]
    2. Dissolving acetates or nitrates of the metal elements corresponding to the oxides in the complex oxide “w A+x B+y C+z D” according to the molar ratios of that w is 0.01 to 2%, x is 0.01 to 3%, y is 0.1 to 6%, and z is 0 to 4% in de-ionized water to obtain a transparent solution S1;
  • [0016]
    3. Mixing alkoxide of silicon, ethanol, acetic acid and de-ionized water with continuous stirring to get a transparent and stable solution S2;
  • [0017]
    4. Adding solution S1 and solution S2 into the suspension of barium titanate with stirring to obtain an even slurry, wherein the volume ratios of the solutions and the suspension are set as S1:S2:BaTiO3 suspension=(1˜8):(1˜4):(10˜50);
  • [0018]
    5. Adding ammonia water into the slurry obtained in step 4 to adjust the pH value to 6˜11 so that the doping elements are uniformly coated onto the barium titanate particles through a co-precipitation process;
  • [0019]
    6. Drying the slurry obtained in step 5 at 80° C.˜120° C. to get dried powders.
  • [0020]
    7. Calcining the dried powders obtained in step 6 at 300˜600° C. for 1˜6 hours in air, followed by crushing and sieving to obtain a nano complex oxide doped dielectric ceramic material, wherein the thickness of the coating layer formed by the doping elements is 1˜20 nm.
  • [0021]
    The dielectric ceramic material of the present invention can also be prepared by the following process, wherein a nano complex oxide dopant is prepared by a sol-gel method firstly with a particle size of 10˜80 nm and then powders of BaTiO3 with an average particle size of 50˜300 nm and the nano complex oxide dopant are mixed and milled to obtain a nano doped dielectric ceramic material.
  • [0022]
    The nano complex oxide dopant is prepared by a sol-gel method as follows:
  • [0023]
    1. Dissolving acetates or nitrates of the metal elements corresponding to the oxides in the complex oxide “w A+x B+y C+z D” according to the mole ratios of that w is 0.01 to 2%, x is 0.01 to 3%, y is 0.1 to 6%, and z is 0 to 4% in de-ionized water, and then adding polyethylene glycol (PEG) into the solution with continuous stirring till a transparent solution S1 is obtained, wherein the weight ratio of PEG and the metal acetates or nitrates is set as PEG:acetates or nitrates=(0.13):1;
  • [0024]
    2. Mixing alkoxide of silicon, ethanol, acetic acid and de-ionized water with continuous stirring to get a transparent and stable solution S2;
  • [0025]
    3. Adding solution S1 into solution S2 with continuous stirring to obtain a transparent precursor solution (sol), wherein the volume ratio of solution S1 to solution S2 is set as S1:S2=(0.5˜20):1;
  • [0026]
    4. Drying the sol obtained in step 3 at 80˜160° C. for 6˜48 hours to get a xerogel;
  • [0027]
    5. Calcining the xerogel at 400˜1000° C. for 1˜10 hours in air, followed by crushing and sieving to obtain a nano complex oxide dopant with an average particle size of 5˜100 nm.
  • [0028]
    The nano complex oxide dopant is mixed with powders of BaTiO3 having an average particle size in the range of 50˜300 nm by a molar ratio of BaTiO3 to the complex oxide as (90˜98):(2˜10), milled for 6˜48 hours and then dried to obtain a nano complex oxide doped dielectric ceramic material.
  • [0029]
    The present invention also provides a base-metal internal electrode multilayer ceramic capacitor using the above-described nano complex oxide doped dielectric ceramic material as the material of dielectric layers. The capacitor is an ultrafine grained and temperature-stable capacitor satisfying X5R or X7R standards, and the average grain size of the dielectric layers is less than 300 nm, preferably less than 200 nm.
  • [0030]
    The multilayer ceramic capacitor of the present invention is prepared as follows:
  • [0031]
    The nano complex oxide doped dielectric ceramic material is mixed with suitable organic solvent, binder, dispersant and plasticizer to provide a ceramic slurry; a dielectric layer is formed by a tape-casting method using the slurry with the thickness of the dielectric layer of below 10 μm; multiple of the dielectric layers and base-metal internal electrode layers are alternately stacked to prepare a stack body; the binder is removed after the stacked body is formed; the binder-removed stack body is then sintered under a reducing atmosphere at a temperature of from 950° C. to 1250° C.; the stack body is then reoxidized in a weak oxidation atmosphere at 800° C.˜1100° C. to enhance insulation resistance of the dielectric; and then the stack body is cooled down to room temperature and Cu or Ag terminal electrode is mounted to obtain an ultrafine-grained and temperature-stable multilayer ceramic capacitor having base-metal internal electrodes.
  • [0032]
    The sintering process in the above method can be carried out by two ways: (a) two-step sintering, the stack body is held at a relative high temperature T1 for 0˜30 min, then the temperature is decreased quickly to a relative low temperature T2 holding for 2˜10 h to complete the densification, wherein 950° C.≦T2≦T1≦1250° C.; (b) normal sintering, the stack body is held at 1050° C.˜1250° C. for 2˜10 h to complete the densification.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0033]
    Embodiments of the invention are described with reference to the accompanying drawings.
  • [0034]
    FIG. 1 illustrates a transmission electron micrograph of the chemical coating powders in example 1.
  • [0035]
    FIG. 2 illustrates a graph of the dielectric constant as a function of temperature of sample 1 in example 2.
  • [0036]
    FIG. 3 illustrates a graph of the TCC (Temperature Coefficient of Capacitance) as a function of temperature of sample 1 in example 2.
  • [0037]
    FIG. 4 illustrates the microstructure of the surface of sample 1 in example 2 after sintering.
  • [0038]
    FIG. 5 illustrates a transmission electron micrograph of the synthesized nano dopant in example 5.
  • [0039]
    FIG. 6 illustrates a graph of the dielectric constant as a function of temperature of sample 1′ in example 6.
  • [0040]
    FIG. 7 illustrates a graph of the TCC as a function of temperature of sample 1′ in example 6.
  • [0041]
    FIG. 8 illustrates the microstructure of the surface of sample 1′ in example 6 after sintering.
  • BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION
  • [0042]
    The present invention provides a nano complex oxide doped dielectric ceramic material used for an ultrafine grained and temperature-stable multilayer ceramic capacitor, which uses a base metal as a material of internal electrodes. The doped dielectric ceramic material comprises barium titanate and nano dopant, wherein the molar ratio of the barium titanate to the nano dopant is preferably in the range of (90˜97): (3˜10) and the average particle size of the barium titanate is preferable 100˜200 nm.
  • [0043]
    The dielectric ceramic material of the present invention can be prepared by a chemical coating process, wherein the doped elements are coated on the surface of the barium titanate particles through a co-precipitation process. In step 3 of the chemical coating process, the volume ratios of the liquids are set as alkoxide of silicon:ethanol:acetic acid:de-ionized water=1:(1˜15):(1˜8):(5˜40) and the alkoxide of silicon is preferably ethyl orthosilicate or butyl orthosilicate.
  • [0044]
    The dielectric ceramic material of the present invention can also be prepared by a process, wherein the nano complex oxide dopant is prepared by a sol-gel method firstly with a particle size of 10˜80 nm and then powders of BaTiO3 and the nano complex oxide dopant are mixed and milled to obtain a nano doped dielectric ceramic material. In step 2 of the sol-gel method, the volume ratios of the liquids are set as alkoxide of silicon:ethanol:acetic acid:de-ionized water=1:(1˜15):(1˜8):(5˜40) and the alkoxide of silicon is preferably ethyl orthosilicate or butyl orthosilicate and the obtained nano complex oxide dopant preferably has an average particle size of 10˜80 nm.
  • [0045]
    The ultrafine-grained and temperature-stable multilayer ceramic capacitor having base-metal internal electrodes is preferably manufactured through the following process:
  • [0046]
    1. The nano complex oxide doped dielectric ceramic material is mixed with an organic solvent, a binder, a dispersant and a plasticizer to provide a ceramic slurry, wherein the weight ratios of the above materials are set as ceramic powder:organic solvent:binder:dispersant:plasticizer=(10˜60):(3˜15):(1˜5):(1˜10):(1˜3);
  • [0047]
    2. A dielectric layer is formed by tape-casting method from the slurry with the thickness of the dielectric layer of below 10 μm;
  • [0048]
    3. Multiple of the dielectric layers and base-metal internal electrode layers are alternately stacked to prepare a stack body;
  • [0049]
    4. The stack body fabricated in step 3 is subjected to a binder removing process at a temperature in the range of from 280˜350° C. for 10˜20 hours in air or under nitrogen atmosphere;
  • [0050]
    5. The binder-removed stack body is then sintered under a reducing atmosphere having oxygen partial pressure in the order of 10−6˜10−12 atm and a volume ratio of N2 to H2 in the range of 40:1 to 15:1 through a two-step sintering or a normal sintering at 950˜1250° C.;
  • [0051]
    6. The sintered stack body is reoxidized in a weak oxidation atmosphere with oxygen partial pressure of 10−5˜10−2 atm at 800° C.˜1100° C. for 2˜10 hours;
  • [0052]
    7. The sintered stack body is cooled down to room temperature;
  • [0053]
    8. Cu or Ag terminal electrode is mounted and heated at 600° C.˜800° C. under N2 atmosphere to obtain an ultrafine-grained and temperature-stable multilayer ceramic capacitor having base-metal internal electrodes.
  • [0054]
    In the above method the organic solvent is preferably toluene or ethanol, the binder is preferably polyvinyl-butyral, the dispersant is preferably a phosphate and the plasticizer is preferably di-n-butyl phthalate or di-sec-octyl phthalate.
  • [0055]
    Hereinbelow, specific examples are given to further describe the present invention. However, the scope of the invention is not limited by the examples.
  • EXAMPLE 1 Preparation of a Nano Complex Oxide Doped Dielectric Ceramic Material through a Chemical Coating Process
  • [0056]
    BaTiO3 powders (with an average particle size of 120 nm) were ball-milled in ethanol for 12 hours to get a BaTiO3 slurry A; Nitrates corresponding to the oxides in the nano complex oxide were weighed according to molar ratios of Y:Ce:Mn:Mg:Si:Ca=4:1:3:12:5:3 and dissolved in deionized water to obtain a clear solution B; Si(OEt)4, ethanol, acetic acid and deionized water were mixed by volume ratios of Si(OEt)4:ethanol:acetic acid:deionized water=1:10:6:20 to obtain a clear and stable solution C; solution B and solution C were dropwise added to the BaTiO3 slurry A by volume ratios of A:B:C=5:2:1; Ammonia water was added to make the pH to 8 so that the doping elements were coated on to the surface of the BaTiO3 particles through a co-precipitation process; the obtained slurry was dried and then was sintered at 500° C. for 2 hours, followed by sieving to obtain a nano complex oxide doped dielectric ceramic material with the molar ratio of BaTiO3 to the complex oxide being 96:4. FIG. 1 illustrates the transmission electron micrograph of the doped dielectric ceramic material in example 1. It can be seen from FIG. 1 that the thickness of the coating layer of the doping elements was 120 nm.
  • EXAMPLE 2
  • [0057]
    Nano complex oxide doped dielectric ceramic materials were prepared by the same way as described in example 1 except that the average particle sizes of the BaTiO3 powders were 120 nm, 135 nm and 150 nm, respectively, the composition of the nano complex oxide dopant in the coating layer (CL) was Y:Ce:Mn:Mg:Si:Ca=3:2:3:12:4:2 (molar ratio), and the molar ratio of the BaTiO3 to the nano complex oxide was 95:5. Thus samples 1˜3 of the nano complex oxide doped dielectric ceramic materials were obtained, as shown in Table 1.
  • [0058]
    Tests of the dielectric properties of samples 1˜3.
  • [0059]
    Each of samples 1˜3 was pressed into a pellet with a diameter of 10 mm and sintered in a reducing atmosphere at 1200° C. for 2 h (N2:H2=30:1), followed by reoxidizing in a weak oxidation atmosphere at 1050° C. for 2 h. Silver electrodes were deposited onto both the main sides of the pellet to conduct dielectric measurement. The dielectric properties and grain size of these samples are listed in Table 1. FIG. 2 illustrates a graph of the dielectric constant as a function of temperature of sample 1 in example 2. FIG. 3 illustrates a graph of the TCC as a function of temperature of sample 1 in example 2. FIG. 4 illustrates the microstructure of sample 1 after sintering. It can be seen that the grain sizes of the doped ceramic materials were uniform and the average grain size is 150 nm.
  • [0000]
    TABLE 1
    Average
    Average Dielectric grain size of
    Particle size of Sintering constant the sintered
    Sample BaTiO3 (nm) condition ε (25° C.) sample (nm) Specs
    1 120 1200° C.-2 h 2222 150 X7R
    2 135 1200° C.-2 h 2206 172 X7R
    3 150 1200° C.-2 h 2147 180 X7R
  • EXAMPLE 3
  • [0060]
    Nano complex oxide doped dielectric ceramic materials were prepared by the same way as described in example 1 except that the average particle sizes of the barium titanate, the mole ratios of barium titanante to the nano complex oxide and the compositions of the nano complex oxides in the coating layer (CL) were different, as listed in Table 2 and Table 3 Thus samples 4˜9 of nano complex oxide doped dielectric ceramic materials were obtained.
  • [0061]
    Tests of the dielectric properties of samples 4˜9.
  • [0062]
    Each of samples 4˜9 was pressed into a pellet with a diameter of 10 mm and sintered in a reducing atmosphere at 1150° C.˜1250° C. for 2 h (N2:H2=35:1), followed by reoxidizing in a weak oxidation atmosphere at 1050° C. for 3 h. Silver electrodes were deposited onto both the main sides of the pellet to conduct dielectric measurement. The dielectric properties and the average grain sizes of these samples are listed in Table 3.
  • [0000]
    TABLE 2
    Nano complex oxide
    in the coating layer Composition (molar ratio)
    CL1 Y:Mn:Mg:Si:Ca = 4:3:12:4:1
    CL2 Y:Ce:Mn:Mg:Si:Ca = 5:1:3:10:5:2
    CL3 Dy:Sm:Mn:Mg:Si:Ba = 5:1:4:12:5:1
    CL4 Dy:Ce:Mn:Mg:Si:Ca = 3:1:4:11:6:2
  • [0000]
    TABLE 3
    Average Average grain
    Particle size Molar ratio Dielectric size of the
    of BaTiO3 Coating of Sintering constant ε sintered
    Sample (nm) layer BaTiO3:CL condition (25° C.) sample (nm) Specs
    4 110 CL1 97:3 1200° C.-2 h 2056 153 X7R
    5 110 CL2 96:4 1170° C.-3 h 2139 157 X7R
    6 120 CL3 96:4 1200° C.-2 h 2364 190 X7R
    7 135 CL1 94:6 1200° C.-2 h 2609 162 X5R
    8 150 CL4 95:5 1180° C.-3 h 2144 185 X7R
    9 150 CL2 97:3 1230° C.-2 h 2576 193 X5R
  • EXAMPLE 4
  • [0063]
    Nano complex oxide doped dielectric ceramic materials were prepared by the same way as described in example 1 except that the average particle sizes of the barium titanate powders and the mole ratios of barium titanate to the nano complex oxide in the coating layer (CL2˜CL4) were different, as shown in Table 4. Thus samples 10˜13 of nano complex oxide doped dielectric ceramic materials were obtained.
  • [0064]
    Tests of the dielectric properties of samples 10˜13.
  • [0065]
    Each of samples 10˜13 was pressed into a pellet with a diameter of 10 mm and sintered in a reducing atmosphere by a two-step sintering method, wherein the temperature was increased to 1200° C.˜1250° C. and kept for 0˜10 min, and then quickly decreased to 950° C.˜1100° C. and kept for 2˜8 h, followed by reoxidizing in a weak oxidation atmosphere at 900° C.˜1000° C. for 3 h. Silver electrodes were deposited onto both the main sides of the pellet to conduct dielectric measurement. The dielectric properties and the average grain sizes of these samples are listed in Table 4.
  • [0000]
    TABLE 4
    Average Average grain
    particle size Molar ratio Dielectric size of the
    of BaTiO3 Coating of Sintering constant ε sintered sample
    Sample (nm) layer BaTiO3:CL condition (25° C.) (nm) Specs
    10 110 CL2 93:7 1220° C.-0 min, 2105 145 X7R
    1080° C.-3 h
    11 120 CL4 95:5 1180° C.-0 min, 2231 169 X7R
    1050° C.-3 h
    12 135 CL3 96:4 1220° C.-0 min, 2190 170 X7R
    1080° C.-3 h
    13 110 CL2 97:3 1220° C.-10 min, 2425 149 X5R
     950° C.-8 h
  • EXAMPLE 5 Preparation of a Nano Complex Oxide Dopant through a Sol-Gel Process
  • [0066]
    Nitrates corresponding to the oxides in the nano complex oxide dopant were weighed according to the molar ratios of Y:Mn:Mg:Si:Ca=5:3:12:7:1 and dissolved in deionized water, polyethylene glycol (PEG) was added with the weight ratio of the mixed nitrates to PEG being 0.5:1; The mixture was stirred continuously to obtain a clear solution A′; Si(OEt)4, ethanol, acetic acid and deionized water were mixed by volume ratios of Si(OEt)4:ethanol:acetic acid:deionized water=1:12:6:30 to obtain a clear solution B′; Solution A′ and solution B′ were mixed together slowly with a volume ratio of A′:B′=5:1 to give a precursor solution C′. A xerogel was obtained after drying the precursor solution C′ at 120° C. for 24 h, and then at 140° C. for 6 h. A nano dopant (ND1) was produced by calcining the xerogel at 800° C. for 3 h, followed by crushing and sieving. FIG. 5 illustrates the transmission electron micrograph of the nano dopant (ND1). It can be seen that the average particle size of the nano dopant is less than 50 nm.
  • EXAMPLE 6
  • [0067]
    BaTiO3 powders (with an average grain size of 110 nm, 125 nm, 150 nm, respectively) and the nano dopant (ND1) were mixed with the mole ratio of BaTiO3 to the nano dopant as 93:7. The mixture was ground for 20 hours by a wet method in a ball mill, and then dried at 110° C. for 8 hours to obtain nano complex oxide doped dielectric ceramic materials, i.e, samples 1′˜3′.
  • [0068]
    Tests of the dielectric properties of samples 1′˜3′.
  • [0069]
    Each of samples 1′˜3′ was pressed into a pellet with a diameter of 10 mm and sintered in a reducing atmosphere at 1200° C. for 2 h (N2:H2=20:1), followed by reoxidizing in a weak oxidation atmosphere at 1050° C. for 2 h. Silver electrodes were deposited onto both the main sides of the pellet to conduct dielectric measurement. The dielectric properties and grain size of these samples are listed in Table 5. FIG. 6 illustrates a graph of the dielectric constant as a function of temperature of sample 1′ in example 6. FIG. 7 illustrates a graph of the TCC as a function of temperature of sample 1′ in example 6. FIG. 8 illustrates the microstructure of the surface of sample 1′ in example 6 after sintering.
  • [0000]
    TABLE 5
    Average Average
    particle size Dielectric grain size
    of BaTiO3 Sintering constant ε of the sintered
    Sample (nm) condition (25° C.) samples (nm) Specs
    1′ 110 1200° C.-2 h 2171 150 X7R
    2′ 125 1200° C.-2 h 2091 164 X7R
    3′ 150 1200° C.-2 h 2099 176 X7R
  • EXAMPLE 7
  • [0070]
    Nano complex oxide dopants ND2˜ND7 were prepared by the same way as described in example 5 except that the compositions of the dopants were different as shown in Table 6. The molar ratios of the nano dopant relative to the barium titanate were set in the range as shown in Table 7. Powders of barium titanate and the nano dopant were mixed and ground for 20 hours by a wet method in a ball mill, and then dried at 110° C. for 8 hours to obtain nano complex oxide doped dielectric ceramic materials, i.e, samples 4′˜10′.
  • [0071]
    Tests of the dielectric properties of samples 4′˜10′.
  • [0072]
    Each of samples 4′˜10′ was pressed into a pellet with a diameter of 10 mm and sintered in a reducing atmosphere at the temperature range of 1150° C. to 1250° C. for 2˜3 h, followed by reoxidizing in a weak oxidation atmosphere at 1050° C. for 3 h. Silver electrodes were deposited onto both the main sides of the pellet to conduct dielectric measurement. The dielectric properties and the average grain sizes of these samples are listed in Table 7.
  • [0000]
    TABLE 6
    Nano Dopant Sample Composition (molar ratio)
    ND2 Y:Ce:Mn:Mg:Si:Ca = 4:1:3:12:5:2
    ND3 Y:Ce:Mn:Mg:Si:Ca = 5:1:2.5:10:5:2.5
    ND4 Y:Sm:Mn:Mg:Si:Ba = 3:1:4.5:10:4:3
    ND5 Dy:Mn:Mg:Si:Ca = 1:4.5:11:6.5:2
    ND6 Dy:Co:Mg:Si:B = 1:2.5:15:4:1
    ND7 Er:Sm:Mn:Mg:Si:Ba = 1:3:5:14:3.5
  • [0000]
    TABLE 7
    Average Average grain
    particle size Molar ratio Dielectric size of the
    of BaTiO3 Nano of Sintering constant ε sintered
    Sample (nm) dopant BaTiO3:ND condition (25° C.) sample (nm) Specs
    4′ 110 ND2 95:5 1180° C.-3 h 2070 147 X7R
    5′ 125 ND2 97:3 1200° C.-2 h 2365 160 X7R
    6′ 150 ND3 97:3 1200° C.-2 h 2299 175 X7R
    7′ 125 ND4 94:6 1200° C.-2 h 2135 154 X7R
    8′ 110 ND5 96:4 1200° C.-2 h 2203 152 X7R
    9′ 125 ND6 96:4 1170° C.-3 h 2011 149 X7R
    10′ 125 ND7 98:2 1220° C.-2 h 2538 185 X5R
  • EXAMPLE 8
  • [0073]
    Powders of BaTiO3 (with an average grain size of 110 nm, 125 nm, respectively) and a nano dopant (ND4 or ND6) were mixed as shown in Table 8. The mixture was ground for 20 hours by a wet method in a ball mill, and then dried at 110° C. for 8 hours to obtain nano complex oxide doped dielectric ceramic materials, i.e, samples 11′˜14′.
  • [0074]
    Tests of the dielectric properties of samples 11′˜14′.
  • [0075]
    Each of samples 11′˜4′ was pressed into a pellet and sintered in a reducing atmosphere by a two-step sintering process, wherein the temperature was increased to 1200° C.˜1250° C. and kept for 0˜10 min, and then was quickly decreased to 950° C.˜1100° C. and kept for 2˜8 h, followed by reoxidizing in a weak oxidation atmosphere at 900° C.˜1000° C. for 3 h. Silver electrodes were deposited onto both the main sides of the pellet to conduct dielectric measurement. The dielectric properties and the average grain sizes of these samples are listed in Table 8.
  • [0000]
    TABLE 8
    Average Average grain
    particle size Molar ratio Dielectric size of the
    of BaTiO3 Nano of Sintering constant ε sintered
    Sample (nm) dopant BaTiO3:ND condition (25° C.) sample (nm) Specs
    11′ 110 ND4 95:5 1200° C.-0 min, 2107 147 X7R
    1050° C.-2 h
    12′ 125 ND6 97:3 1220° C.-0 min, 2515 174 X5R
    1080° C.-2 h
    13′ 110 ND4 97:3 1220° C.-10 min, 2047 152 X7R
     950° C.-8 h
    14′ 110 ND6 97:3 1220° C.-10 min, 2123 157 X5R
     950° C.-8 h
  • [0076]
    In the examples, nano-grained BaTiO3-based dielectric materials for base-metal internal electrode multilayer ceramic capacitors with X5R/X7R characteristic were produced. The room-temperature dielectric constants of the samples (pellet samples) after two-step sintering or normal sintering at 950° C.˜1250° C. in a reducing atmosphere were 2000˜2600 and the temperature coefficients of capacitance (TCC) were within ±15%. The dielectric losses of the sintered samples were less than 2.5%. The sintered samples had high insulation resistances in the range of 1012 Ω·cm˜1013 Ω·cm and their breakdown fields were more than 5 kV/mm. The average grain sizes of the sintered samples were 100 nm˜200 nm and the grains were very uniform.
  • [0077]
    Base-metal internal electrode multilayer ceramic capacitors (MLCC) were manufactured using the nano complex oxide doped dielectric ceramic material for the dielectric layer, which was sintered at 950-1200° C. The room-temperature dielectric constants of the MLCCs were 3000˜3600 satisfying the X5R characteristic. The average grain sizes of the dielectric layers were less than 300 nm.
  • [0078]
    The nano complex oxide doped dielectric ceramic material of the present invention is useful as dielectric material for multilayer ceramic capacitor with ultra-thin dielectric layer (thickness less than 3 μm) and base-metal internal electrodes.

Claims (15)

  1. 1. A nano complex oxide doped dielectric ceramic material used for a multilayer ceramic capacitor, comprising barium titanate and a nano complex oxide dopant, wherein the molar ratio of the barium titanate to the nano complex oxide dopant is in the range of (90˜98):(2˜10), the average particle size of the barium titanate is in the range of 50˜300 nm and the nano complex oxide dopant has the following formula (1):

    w A+x B+y C+z D   (1)
    wherein,
    A represents one or more selected from the group consisting of CaTiO3, CaO, BaO, SrO and MgO;
    B represents one or more selected from the group consisting of MnO2, Co2O3, Co3O4, Fe2O3 and Y2O3;
    C represents one or more selected from the group consisting of SiO2, B2O3 and Li2O;
    D represents an oxide of Re, wherein Re is one or more rare-earth elements selected from the group consisting of La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb and Lu; and
    w, x, y and z are molar percentages of the oxides with respect to the BaTiO3, wherein w is 0.01 to 2%, x is 0.01 to 3%, y is 0.1 to 6%, and z is 0 to 4%.
  2. 2. The nano complex oxide doped dielectric ceramic material according to claim 1, wherein the molar ratio of the barium titanate to the nano complex oxide dopant is in the range of (90˜97):(3˜10) and the average particle size of the barium titanate is 100˜200 nm.
  3. 3. The nano complex oxide doped dielectric ceramic material according to claim 1, wherein said doped dielectric ceramic material is prepared by a chemical coating process comprising the following steps:
    (1). Adding barium titanate powders into a solvent selected from de-ionized water, ethanol, propanol, isopropanol or the like and milling to obtain a well dispersed suspension of barium titanate, wherein the average particle size of the barium titanate powders is in the range of 50˜300 nm;
    (2). Dissolving acetates or nitrates of metal elements corresponding to the oxides in the nano complex oxide “w A+x B+y C+z D” according to the molar ratios of that w is 0.01 to 2%, x is 0.01 to 3%, y is 0.1 to 6%, and z is 0 to 4% in de-ionized water to obtain a transparent solution S1;
    (3). Mixing alkoxide of silicon, ethanol, acetic acid and de-ionized water with continuous stirring to get a transparent and stable solution S2;
    (4). Adding solution S1 and solution S2 into the suspension of barium titanate with stirring to obtain an even slurry, wherein the volume ratios of the solutions and the suspension are set as S1:S2:BaTiO3 suspension=(1˜8):(1˜4):(10˜50);
    (5). Adding ammonia water into the slurry obtained in step (4) to adjust the pH value to 6˜11 so that the doping elements are uniformly coated onto the barium titanate particles through a co-precipitation process;
    (6). Drying the slurry obtained in step (5) at 80° C.˜120° C. to get dried powders;
    (7). Calcining the dried powders obtained in step (6) at 300˜600° C. for 1˜6 hours, followed by crushing and sieving;
    wherein the nano complex oxide doped dielectric ceramic material thus obtained has a coating layer formed by the doping elements on the barium titanate particle, and the thickness of the coating layer is 1˜20 nm.
  4. 4. The nano complex oxide doped dielectric ceramic material according to claim 3, wherein in step (1) of the chemical coating process, the average particle size of the barium titanate is 100˜200 nm, and in step (3) the volume ratios of the liquids are set as alkoxide of silicon:ethanol:acetic acid:de-ionized water=1:(1˜15):(1˜8):(5˜40) and the alkoxide of silicon is ethyl orthosilicate or butyl orthosilicate.
  5. 5. The nano complex oxide doped dielectric ceramic material according to claim 1, wherein said doped dielectric ceramic material is prepared by a process, wherein a nano complex oxide dopant is prepared by a sol-gel method firstly and then the nano complex oxide dopant is mixed with powders of BaTiO3 having an average particle size in the range of 50˜300 nm by a molar ratio of BaTiO3 to the complex oxide as (90˜98):(2˜10), milled and then dried to obtain the nano complex oxide doped dielectric ceramic material,
    said sol-gel method comprises the following steps:
    (1). Dissolving acetates or nitrates of metal elements corresponding to the oxides in the complex oxide “w A+x B+y C+z D” according to the mole ratios of that w is 0.01 to 2%, x is 0.01 to 3%, y is 0.1 to 6%, and z is 0 to 4% in de-ionized water, and then adding polyethylene glycol (PEG) into the solution with continuous stirring till a transparent solution S1 is obtained, wherein the weight ratio of PEG and the metal acetates or nitrates is set as PEG:acetates or nitrates=(0.1˜3):1;
    (2). Mixing alkoxide of silicon, ethanol, acetic acid and de-ionized water with continuous stirring to get a transparent and stable solution S2;
    (3). Adding solution S1 into solution S2 with continuous stirring to obtain a transparent precursor solution (sol), wherein the volume ratio of solution S1 to solution S2 is set as S1:S2=(0.5˜20):1;
    (4). Drying the sol obtained in step (3) at 80˜160° C. for 6˜48 hours to get a xerogel;
    (5). Calcining the xerogel at 400˜1000° C. for 1˜10 hours in air, followed by crushing and sieving to obtain a nano complex oxide dopant with an average particle size of 5˜100 nm.
  6. 6. The nano complex oxide doped dielectric ceramic material according to claim 5, wherein the average particle size of the barium titanate is 100˜200 nm, in step (2) of the sol-gel method, the volume ratios of the liquids are set as alkoxide of silicon:ethanol:acetic acid:de-ionized water=1:(1˜15):(1˜8):(5˜40) and the alkoxide of silicon is ethyl orthosilicate or butyl orthosilicate, and the obtained nano complex oxide dopant has an average particle size of 10˜80 nm.
  7. 7. A preparation process of a nano complex oxide doped dielectric ceramic material used for a multilayer ceramic capacitor, wherein said doped dielectric ceramic material comprises barium titanate and a nano complex oxide dopant, the molar ratio of the barium titanate to the nano complex oxide dopant is in the range of (90˜98):(2˜10), the average particle size of the barium titanate is in the range of 50˜300 nm and the nano complex oxide dopant has the following formula (1):

    w A+x B+y C+z D   (1)
    wherein,
    A represents one or more selected from the group consisting of CaTiO3, CaO, BaO, SrO and MgO;
    B represents one or more selected from the group consisting of MnO2, Co2O3, Co3O4, Fe2O3 and Y2O3;
    C represents one or more selected from the group consisting of SiO2, B2O3 and Li2O;
    D represents an oxide of Re, wherein Re is one or more rare-earth elements selected from the group consisting of La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb and Lu; and
    w, x, y and z are molar percentages of the oxides with respect to the BaTiO3, wherein w is 0.01 to 2%, x is 0.01 to 3%, y is 0.1 to 6%, and z is 0 to 4%, and
    said preparation process is a chemical coating process comprising the following steps:
    (1). Adding barium titanate powders into a solvent selected from de-ionized water, ethanol, propanol, isopropanol or the like and milling to obtain a well dispersed suspension of barium titanate, wherein the average particle size of the barium titanate powders is in the range of 50˜300 nm;
    (2). Dissolving acetates or nitrates of metal elements corresponding to the oxides in the nano complex oxide “w A+x B+y C+z D” according to the molar ratios of that w is 0.01 to 2%, x is 0.01 to 3%, y is 0.1 to 6%, and z is 0 to 4% in de-ionized water to obtain a transparent solution S1;
    (3). Mixing alkoxide of silicon, ethanol, acetic acid and de-ionized water with continuous stirring to get a transparent and stable solution S2;
    (4). Adding solution S1 and solution S2 into the suspension of barium titanate with stirring to obtain an even slurry, wherein the volume ratios of the solutions and the suspension are set as S1:S2:BaTiO3 suspension=(1˜8):(1˜4):(10˜50);
    (5). Adding ammonia water into the slurry obtained in step (4) to adjust the pH value to 6˜11 so that the doping elements are uniformly coated onto the barium titanate particles through a co-precipitation process;
    (6). Drying the slurry obtained in step (5) at 80° C.˜120° C. to get dried powders;
    (7). Calcining the dried powders obtained in step (6) at 300˜600° C. for 1˜6 hours, followed by crushing and sieving;
    wherein the nano complex oxide doped dielectric ceramic material thus obtained has a coating layer formed by the doping elements on the barium titanate particle, and the thickness of the coating layer is 1˜20 nm.
  8. 8. The preparation process according to claim 7, wherein in step (1) of the chemical coating process the average particle size of the barium titanate is 100˜200 nm, and in step (3) the volume ratios of the liquids are set as alkoxide of silicon:ethanol:acetic acid:de-ionized watery=1:(1˜15):(1˜8):(5˜40) and the alkoxide of silicon is ethyl orthosilicate or butyl orthosilicate.
  9. 9. A preparation process of a nano complex oxide doped dielectric ceramic material used for a multilayer ceramic capacitor, wherein said doped dielectric ceramic material comprises barium titanate and a nano complex oxide dopant, the molar ratio of the barium titanate to the nano complex oxide dopant is in the range of (90˜98):(2˜10), the average particle size of the barium titanate is in the range of 50˜300 nm and the nano complex oxide dopant has the following formula (1):

    w A+x B+y C+z D   (1)
    wherein,
    A represents one or more selected from the group consisting of CaTiO3, CaO, BaO, SrO and MgO;
    B represents one or more selected from the group consisting of MnO2, Co2O3, Co3O4, Fe2O3 and Y2O3;
    C represents one or more selected from the group consisting of SiO2, B2O3 and Li2O;
    D represents an oxide of Re, wherein Re is one or more rare-earth elements selected from the group consisting of La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb and Lu;
    w, x, y and z are molar percentages of the oxides with respect to the BaTiO3, wherein w is 0.01 to 2%, x is 0.01 to 3%, y is 0.1 to 6%, and z is 0 to 4%, and
    in said preparation process, a nano complex oxide dopant is prepared by a sol-gel method firstly and then the nano complex oxide dopant is mixed with powders of BaTiO3 having an average particle size in the range of 50˜300 nm by a molar ratio of BaTiO3 to the complex oxide as (90˜98):(2˜10), milled and then dried to obtain the nano complex oxide doped dielectric ceramic material,
    said sol-gel method comprises the following steps:
    (1). Dissolving acetates or nitrates of metal elements corresponding to the oxides in the complex oxide “w A+x B+y C+z D” according to the mole ratios of that w is 0.01 to 2%, x is 0.01 to 3%, y is 0.1 to 6%, and z is 0 to 4% in de-ionized water, and then adding polyethylene glycol (PEG) into the solution with continuous stirring till a transparent solution S1 is obtained, wherein the weight ratio of PEG and the metal acetates or nitrates is set as PEG:acetates or nitrates=(0.1˜3):1;
    (2). Mixing alkoxide of silicon, ethanol, acetic acid and de-ionized water with continuous stirring to get a transparent and stable solution S2;
    (3). Adding solution S1 into solution S2 with continuous stirring to obtain a transparent precursor solution (sol), wherein the volume ratio of solution S1 to solution S2 is set as S1:S2=(0.5˜20):1;
    (4). Drying the sol obtained in step (3) at 80˜160° C. for 6˜48 hours to get a xerogel;
    (5). Calcining the xerogel at 400˜1000° C. for 1˜10 hours in air, followed by crushing and sieving to obtain a nano complex oxide dopant with an average particle size of 5˜100 nm.
  10. 10. The preparation process according to claim 9, wherein the average particle size of the barium titanate is 100˜200 nm, in step (2) of the sol-gel method, the volume ratios of the liquids are set as alkoxide of silicon:ethanol:acetic acid:de-ionized water−1:(1˜15):(1˜8):(5˜40) and the alkoxide of silicon is ethyl orthosilicate or butyl orthosilicate, and the obtained nano complex oxide dopant has an average particle size of 10˜80 nm.
  11. 11. A multilayer ceramic capacitor using a base metal as a material of internal electrodes, comprising the nano complex oxide doped dielectric ceramic material according to claim 1 as the material of dielectric layers, wherein the capacitor is an ultrafine grained and temperature-stable capacitor satisfying X5R or X7R standards, and the average grain size of the dielectric layers is less than 300 nm.
  12. 12. A Process for manufacturing an ultrafine grained and temperature-stable multilayer ceramic capacitor, comprising the following steps:
    the nano complex oxide doped dielectric ceramic material according to claim 1 is mixed with suitable organic solvent, binder, dispersant and plasticizer to provide a ceramic slurry;
    a dielectric layer is formed by a tape-casting method using the slurry with the thickness of the dielectric layer of below 10 μm;
    multiple of the dielectric layers and base-metal internal electrode layers are alternately stacked to prepare a stack body;
    the binder is removed after the stacked body is formed;
    the binder-removed stack body is then sintered under a reducing atmosphere at a temperature of from 950° C. to 1250° C.;
    the sintered stack body is reoxidized in a weak oxidation atmosphere at 800° C˜1100° C. to enhance insulation resistance of the dielectric;
    the sintered stack body is cooled down to room temperature; and
    Cu or Ag terminal electrode is mounted to obtain an ultrafine-grained and temperature-stable multilayer ceramic capacitor having base-metal internal electrodes, wherein the capacitor satisfies X5R or X7R standards, and the average grain size of the dielectric layers is less than 200 nm.
  13. 13. The process for manufacturing an ultrafine grained and temperature-stable multilayer ceramic capacitor according to claim 12, wherein the sintering process is carried out by two ways: (a) two-step sintering, the stack body is held at a relative high temperature T1 for 0˜30 min, then the temperature is decreased quickly to a relative low temperature T2 and held for 2˜10 h, wherein 950° C.≦T2≦T1≦1250° C.; (b) normal sintering, the stack body is held at 1050° C.˜1250° C. for 2˜10 h.
  14. 14. The process for manufacturing an ultrafine grained and temperature-stable multilayer ceramic capacitor according to claim 12, comprising the following steps:
    (1). The nano complex oxide doped dielectric ceramic material is mixed with an organic solvent, a binder, a dispersant and a plasticizer to provide a ceramic slurry, wherein the weight ratios of the above materials are set as ceramic powder:organic solvent:binder:dispersant:plasticizer=(10˜60):(3˜15):(1˜5):(1˜10):(1˜3);
    (2). A dielectric layer is formed by tape-casting method from the slurry with the thickness of the dielectric layer of below 10 μm;
    (3). Multiple of the dielectric layers and base-metal internal electrode layers are alternately stacked to prepare a stack body;
    (4). The stack body fabricated in step (3) is subjected to a binder removing process at a temperature in the range of from 280˜350° C. for 10˜20 hours in air or under nitrogen atmosphere;
    (5). The binder-removed stack body is sintered under a reducing atmosphere having oxygen partial pressure in the order of 10−6˜10−12 atm and a volume ratio of N2 to H2 in the range of 40:1 to 15:1 through a two-step sintering or a normal sintering at 950˜1250° C.;
    (6). The sintered stack body is reoxidized in a weak oxidation atmosphere with oxygen partial pressure of 10−5˜10−2 atm at 800° C.˜1100° C. for 2˜10 hours;
    (7). The sintered stack body is cooled down to room temperature;
    (8). Cu or Ag terminal electrode is mounted and heated at 600° C.˜800° C. under N2 atmosphere to obtain an ultrafine-grained and temperature-stable multilayer ceramic capacitor having base-metal internal electrodes.
  15. 15. The process for manufacturing an ultrafine grained and temperature-stable multilayer ceramic capacitor according to claim 14, wherein in step (1) the organic solvent is toluene or ethanol, the binder is polyvinyl-butyral, the dispersant is a phosphate and the plasticizer is di-n-butyl phthalate or di-sec-octyl phthalate.
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