Journal of Materials Research


Use of metastable equilibria for determination of Gibbs energy of solids

K. T. Jacoba1 and S. Srikantha1

a1 Department of Metallurgy, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560 012, India


Attempts are made to measure activities of both components of a binary alloy (A–B) at 650 K using a solid-state galvanic cell incorporating a new composite solid electrolyte. Since the ionic conductivity of the composite solid electrolyte is three orders of magnitude higher than that of pure CaF2, the cell can be operated at lower temperatures. The alloy phase is equilibrated in separate experiments with flourides of each component and fluorine potential is measured. The mixture of the alloy (A–B) and the fluoride of the more reactive component (BF2) is stable, while (A–B) + AF2 mixture is metastable, Factors governing the possible use of metastable equilibria have been elucidated in this study. In the Co–Ni system, where the difference in Gibbs energies of formation of the fluorides is 21.4 kJ/mol, emf of the cell with metastable phases at the electrode is constant for periods ranging from 90 to 160 ks depending on alloy composition. Subsequently, the emf decreases because of the onset of the displacement reaction. In the Ni–Mn system, measurement of the activity of Ni using metastable equilibria is not fully successful at 650 K because of the large driving force for the displacement reaction (208.8 kJ/mol). Critical factors in the application of metastable equilibria are the driving force for displacement reaction and diffusion coefficients in both the alloy and fluoride solid solution.

(Received November 24 1987)

(Accepted February 29 1988)