Iranian researchers at Isfahan University of Technology (IUT) managed to synthesize nanocrystalline forsterite powders widely applicable in nonflammable ceramic, laser and electronic industries.
Also, the new nanopowders are of considerable interest in medical and tissue engineering fields as a novel and promising material.
"We have been able to produce nanocrystalline forsterite powders through mechanical activation method by applying talc and magnesium carbonate," Fariborz Tavangarian, the researcher in chief explained to the News Service of INIC (Iranian Nanotechnology Initiative Council)
Forsterite is in high demand in laser industries. It can be synthesized by several methods, however, avoiding the formation of MgSio3 and MgO during synthesis process is challenging.
Besides, thermal treatments at 1200 up to 1600 °C and the presence of enstatite, which can be introduced adverse side-effects, are essential to achieve forsterite structures. Consequently, a new synthesis method which bypasses such materials or operating conditions would be of great value.
"Application of talc as a very low cost raw material is in favor of total costs' reduction effectively," Tavangarian underlined.
"Since the production of forsterite is costly and technically difficult, our main goal was to propose a robust, economic, and well-controllable process for synthesis of single-phased nanocrystalline forsterite powders out of talc and carbonate magnesium," he added.
Elaborating on his views, Tavangarian reiterated," This method can be used to synthesize crystals of forsterite ranging from 30 to 40 nanometers in size, after one hour duration at 1200°C."
Details on this research work are available at the Journal of Alloys and Compounds, volume 485, pages 648 to 652, 2009