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Stabilization of boron carbide via silicon doping

Proctor, J. E.; Bhakhri, V.; Hao, R.; Prior, T. J.; Scheler, T.; Gregoryanz, E.; Chhowalla, M.; Giulani, F.


J. E. Proctor

V. Bhakhri

R. Hao

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Dr Tim Prior
Senior Lecturer in Inorganic Chemistry

T. Scheler

E. Gregoryanz

M. Chhowalla

F. Giulani


Boron carbide is one of the lightest and hardest ceramics, but its applications are limited by its poor stability against a partial phase separation into separate boron and carbon. Phase separation is observed under high non-hydrostatic stress (both static and dynamic), resulting in amorphization. The phase separation is thought to occur in just one of the many naturally occurring polytypes in the material, and this raises the possibility of doping the boron carbide to eliminate this polytype. In this work, we have synthesized boron carbide doped with silicon. We have conducted a series of characterizations (transmission electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, Raman spectroscopy and x-ray diffraction) on pure and silicon-doped boron carbide following static compression to 50 GPa non-hydrostatic pressure. We find that the level of amorphization under static non-hydrostatic pressure is drastically reduced by the silicon doping.


Proctor, J. E., Bhakhri, V., Hao, R., Prior, T. J., Scheler, T., Gregoryanz, E., …Giulani, F. (2015). Stabilization of boron carbide via silicon doping. Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter, 27(1), Article 015401.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 3, 2014
Online Publication Date Nov 27, 2014
Publication Date Jan 14, 2015
Deposit Date Apr 1, 2022
Journal Journal of Physics Condensed Matter
Print ISSN 0953-8984
Electronic ISSN 1361-648X
Publisher IOP Publishing
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 27
Issue 1
Article Number 015401
Public URL