Beta-alumina is currently used as a solid electrolyte for gas sensors because of its high ionic conductivity. In order to control the morphological properties and sodium contents of powder used in such applications, it has been produced by two types of synthesis: by thermal denitrification and by the use of a gel. Various beta-alumina crystallization mechanisms have been characterized that illustrate the role played by certain precursors which, when present, are capable of affecting the ratio of beta and beta" phases. Electrical conductivity measurements were made by a.c. techniques at 300-500 C. Ageing tests confirmed that the gel-prepared products have a much higher stability.
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