Impedance analysis of MnCoCuONTC ceramic

S.G Song, Z. Ling, F. Placido

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)


Impedance spectroscopy is often used to analyse the electrical properties of ceramic materials having high-resistive grain boundaries, such as ZnO and SrTiO3. Fewer attempts have been made at using this technique for the analysis of inhomogeneous electronic ceramics consisting of grains with differing composition, such as those occurring in negative temperature coefficient (NTC) thermistors. In this study, we have attempted to adopt ac impedance spectroscopy together with other techniques to analyse an NTC thermistor ceramic material.

An Mn, Co and Cu multielements transition metal oxide (MnCoCuO) ceramic was prepared by using homogeneous precipitation employing oxalic acid. This material displayed a typical NTC effect, showing an electrical resistance decrease with temperature when dc electrical measurement was performed. The ac impedance spectroscopy analysis showed that there were two peaks in impedance and conductance versus frequency plot. By using an alternative representation of impedance spectra Z″/f versus Z′, three distinct relaxation frequency ranges were identified. They are believed to originate, respectively, from the electrode, phase 1 (rich-Cu phase) and phase 2 (poor-Cu phase) grains existing in this ceramic. SEM observation and EDX analysis clearly showed existence of two distinct phase grains. The resistance values were derived from phases 1 and 2 grains based on ac impedance data. The sum of the resistance values was in good agreement with that from dc measurement in the temperature range of 30–95 °C. The material constant, B, for the two phases was also calculated, giving 3100 and 3600 K for phases 1 and 2, respectively.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1081-1093
Number of pages13
JournalMaterials Research Bulletin
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2005


  • ceramics
  • impedance spectroscopy
  • microstructures
  • electrical properties


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