Processing of Ferroelectric Ceramics: From Theory to Practice

Andrew J Bell
School of Chemical and Process Engineering, University of Leeds, UK
*Corresponding Author: [email protected]

Ceramics are the most widely used form of ferroelectric materials for applications in capacitors, piezoelectric devices and infra-red sensors. In this tutorial we will review the basic science that underpins ceramic process technology leading to a best practice guide and exemplified by a number of case studies. As most ceramic processing is aimed at maximizing the sintered density, the basic science review will follow the process in reverse, starting with sintering theory. This will provide the requirements for defining the requirements for optimum forming processes and particle process steps.  
The examples will include comparisons of mixed oxide (solid state) and “chemical” particle processes. The forming processes will be illustrated by uniaxial and isostatic pressing routes, plus wet processes, such as tape-casting, for multilayer device fabrication. The advantages and disadvantages of hot-pressing will also be discussed.


Andrew Bell was appointed Professor of Electronic Materials at the University of Leeds, School of Chemical and Process Engineering in March 2000. He previously spent almost 20 years in industrial research posts and as a Senior Scientist in the Ceramics Laboratory at EPFL, Switzerland. He has undertaken research on a wide range of topics in ferroelectric and dielectric materials, encompassing basic science, materials processing, structural and electrical characterization and device physics, as applied to pyroelectric materials and devices, microwave dielectrics, capacitors and piezoelectrics. 
Andrew was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2016 and is a Senior Member of IEEE. He received the IEEE’s Ferroelectrics Recognition Award (2012) and was awarded the Verulam Medal of the Institute of Materials (2014). He currently holds a 5-year Established Career Fellowship from the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. His current research concerns new piezoelectric materials, including ceramics, single crystals and composites.
He is a co-founder of Ionix Advanced Technologies Ltd., which manufactures a range of high temperature ultrasound transducers based on new high temperature piezoelectric ceramics emerging from his research group.