Journal of Inorganic Materials ›› 2021, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (4): 365-371.DOI: 10.15541/jim20200654

• RESEARCH PAPER • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Study on the Solid Solution Structures of High-Entropy Ceramics by Transmission Electron Microscopy

GUO Xiaojie1,3(), BAO Weichao1(), LIU Jixuan2, WANG Xingang1, ZHANG Guojun2(), XU Fangfang1   

  1. 1. State Key Laboratory of High Performance Ceramics and Superfine Microstructure, Shanghai Institute of Ceramics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200050, China
    2. State Key Laboratory for Modification of Chemical Fibers and Polymer Materials, Institute of Functional Materials, Donghua University, Shanghai 201620, China
    3. Center of Materials Science and Optoelectronics Engineering, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2020-11-16 Revised:2020-12-28 Published:2021-04-20 Online:2020-12-30
  • Contact: BAO Weichao, assistant professor. E-mail:; ZHANG Guojun, professor. E-mail:
  • About author:GUO Xiaojie(1991-), female, PhD candidate. E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    Natural Science Foundation of China(52032001);Natural Science Foundation of China(51532009);Shanghai Sailing Program(20YF1455500);Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality(18ZR1401400);Shanghai Technical Platform for Testing and Characterization on Inorganic Materials(19DZ2290700)


High-entropy brings high-entropy effect on thermodynamics, lattice distortion effect on structure, diffusion retardation effect on dynamics and “cocktail” effect on properties in materials. It is a hotspot to improve the properties of ceramics by high-entropy design. However, it still lacks the study of high-entropy structures and their correlation to the properties through transmission electron microscopy (TEM). In this study, high-entropy borides and carbides powders were fabricated by using metal oxides, boron carbide and graphite as raw materials. The high-entropy (TiZrHfNbTa)B2 and (TiZrHfNbTa)C ceramics were then synthesized by spark plasma sintering of the as-fabricated powders. Transmission electron microscope and energy dispersive spectrometry were used to characterize the structure of the two high-entropy ceramics at the nano-scale and atomic-scale. The integrity of crystal structure maintained after solid solution of five transition metal elements which were found to uniformly distribute in the ceramics. However, at atomic scales, concentration oscillations of solid solution elements, atomic dispersion and lattice strain were observed. The solid solution structures at atomic scales as-obtained in this work can help to understand the structure-property relationship of high-entropy ceramics and provide experimental basis for the composition and structure design of high-entropy ceramics.

Key words: high-entropy ceramics, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), structure in nano-scale, structure in atomic-scale

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