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Issue 20, 2013
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Advances in the synthesis of ZnO nanomaterials for varistor devices

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Abstract

ZnO based varistors are widely used for overvoltage protection in many electrical and electronic circuits, at voltages ranging from a few to over a million volts. By careful control of the microstructure, through nano-structuring by chemical routes, it should be possible to produce varistors with high breakdown voltage (Vc), as this is proportional to the number of active grain boundaries in the sintered body. This property is particularly important for the production of the small-sized varistors needed for modern electronic instruments such as tablet computers and mobile phones. The current review will outline the recent advances in the chemical processing (e.g. sol–gel, combustion synthesis plasma pyrolysis, micro-emulsion synthesis and precipitation routes) of varistors from ZnO nanomaterials and the properties of these materials. Uncontrolled grain growth at higher temperature is highlighted as a major challenge for obtaining desirable electrical properties for nano-varistors. Various novel sintering techniques such as step-sintering, spark plasma and microwave sintering methods are expected to deliver a varistor with controlled grain growth and optimum electrical characteristics.

Graphical abstract: Advances in the synthesis of ZnO nanomaterials for varistor devices

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Publication details

The article was received on 07 Nov 2012, accepted on 19 Feb 2013 and first published on 20 Feb 2013


Article type: Feature Article
DOI: 10.1039/C3TC00575E
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. C, 2013,1, 3268-3281
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    Advances in the synthesis of ZnO nanomaterials for varistor devices

    S. C. Pillai, J. M. Kelly, R. Ramesh and D. E. McCormack, J. Mater. Chem. C, 2013, 1, 3268
    DOI: 10.1039/C3TC00575E

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