Microstructural characterization of amorphous and nanocrystalline boron nitride prepared by high-energy ball milling

J. Ghosh*, S. Mazumdar, M. Das, S. Ghatak, A. K. Basu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Microstructural parameters like crystallite size, lattice strain, stacking faults and dislocation density were evaluated from the X-ray diffraction data of boron nitride (BN) powder milled in a high-energy vibrational ball mill for different length of time (2-120 h), using different model based approaches like Scherrer analysis, integral breadth method, Williamson-Hall technique and modified Rietveld technique. From diffraction line-broadening analysis of the successive patterns of BN with varying milling time, it was observed that overall line broadening was an operative cause for crystallite size reduction at lower milling time (∼5 h), whereas lattice strains were the prominent cause of line broadening at higher milling times (>19 h). For intermediate milling time (7-19 h), both crystallite size and lattice strain influence the profile broadening although their relative contribution vary with milling time. Microstructural information showed that after long time milling (>19 h) BN becomes mixture of nanocrystalline and amorphous BN. The accumulations of defects cause this crystalline to amorphous transition. It has been found that twin fault (β′) and deformation fault (α) significantly contributed to BN powder as synthesized by a high-energy ball-milling technique. Present study consider only three ball-milled (0, 2 and 3 h) BN powder for faults calculation because fault effected reflections (1 0 1, 1 0 2, 1 0 3) disappear with milling time (>3 h). The morphology and particle size of the BN powders before and after ball milling were also observed in a field emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1023-1031
Number of pages9
JournalMaterials Research Bulletin
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • A. Ceramics
  • C. Electron microscopy
  • C. X-ray diffraction
  • D. Defects
  • D. Microstructure


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