Zirconia (ZrO2)-based ceramics are strong, hard and inert, have low thermal conductivity and good biocompatibility. These properties allow them to be used in a wide range of applications, for example in optical communication or the automobile industry. However, many questions remain open regarding phase transformation processes in these ceramics which can either strengthen or weaken them. One correlative approach to unify crystallographic phase and morphological information could answer many of these questions.
Together with Prof. Y. Zeng, our partner GETec has performed correlative AFM, REM and EBSD measurements on zirconia ceramics, and they were able to observe the martensitic transition in situ. To do this, the GETec AFSEM-system was integrated in the REM from Prof. Zeng to enable the simultaneous analysis of the sample at the exact same sample position without the need of sample transfer. The results were recently published by the group of Prof. Zeng .
 Wang, Yongzhe et al. “Investigation on the habit plane of martensitic transformation in zirconia coatings.” Journal of the Australian Ceramic Society 56 (2020): 257 - 264.