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Agate Mortar and Pestle

A very simple technique for solid-state syntheses. Reactants are thoroughly mixed using an agate mortar and pestle until fully homogenous. The resulting powder may be directly fired in an alumina crucible, or pelletized to ensure intimate contact throughout the entire sample. In a mortar and pestle, particle size can be reduced to approximate 1 micron. More aggressive mixing can be achieved using a ball mill.


Most grinding is simply done with a mortar and pestle.

Simple Procedure

  1. Place a stoichiometric ratio of cobalt oxide and lithium hydroxide in the mortar
  2. Grind the powders together using the pestle, scraping the material that accumulates on the sides back into the center of the mortar
  3. Continue until the powders are fully homogenous, approximately 20 minutes.