The present invention provides a method for preparing irreversible linear aggregates (fibrils) of metal oxide powders by utilizing static or pulsed DC electrical fields across a relatively non-conducting liquid solvent in which organometal compounds or silicon alkoxides have been dissolved. The electric field is applied to the relatively non-conducting solution throughout the particle formation and growth process promoting the formation of either linear aggregates (fibrils) or spherical shaped particles as desired. Thus the present invention provides a physical method for altering the size, shape and porosity of precursor hydrous metal oxide or hydrous silicon oxide powders for the development of advanced ceramics with improved strength and insulating capacity.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to contract no. DE-AC05-840R21400 between the United States Department of Energy and Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Inc., and funded by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences.