Epitaxial growth of ε-Fe2O3 on mullite found through studies on a traditional Japanese stoneware

Yoshihiro Kusano, Tatsuo Fujii, Jun Takada, Minoru Fukuhara, Akira Doi, Yasunori Ikeda, Mikio Takano

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38 Citations (Scopus)


In the course of our study on a Japanese traditional stoneware called "Bizen", we have found that ε-Fe2O3, which has been classically known but recently limelighted for its magnetic potentiality, crystallizes epitaxially on needlelike crystals of mullite, 3(Al,Fe)2O3·2SiO2. This interesting reaction occurred when a pellet of Bizen clay powder was covered with rice straw and then heated to 1250 °C in a stream of nitrogen containing 1-2 vol % of oxygen. It is known that mullite forms from the clay on heating and that the rice straw provides potassium to induce partial melting in the pellet surface to a depth of ∼50/im. The ε-Fe2O3-on-mullite particles formed in this molten region, changing their morphology with the oxygen partial pressure. Square-columnar single-crystalline particles with prismatic ends grew to ∼0.1 × 0.1 × 0.5 μm3 at N2/O2 = 99/1, while dendritic finlike crystals of ∼0.3 × 0.1 × 0.8 μm3, which was then the biggest size ever reported, grew at N2/O2 = 98/2, The relative ε-Fe2O3-to-mullite orientation also changed with the oxygen partial pressure. This discovery suggests morphological controllability of this metastable but magnetically interesting iron oxide as a function of the oxygen partial pressure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-156
Number of pages6
JournalChemistry of Materials
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 8 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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