M. Kogler, E.M. Köck, S. Vanicek, D. Schmidmair, T. Götsch, M. Stöger-Pollach, C. Hejny, B. Klötzer, S. Penner:
"Enhanced Kinetic Stability of Pure and Y‐Doped Tetragonal ZrO2";
The kinetic stability of pure and yttrium-doped tetragonal zirconia (ZrO2) polymorphs prepared via a pathway involving decomposition of pure zirconium and zirconium + yttrium isopropoxide is reported. Following this preparation routine, high surface area, pure, and structurally stable polymorphic modifications of pure and Y-doped tetragonal zirconia are obtained in a fast and reproducible way. Combined analytical high-resolution in situ transmission electron microscopy, high-temperature X-ray diffraction, and chemical and thermogravimetric analyses reveals that the thermal stability of the pure tetragonal ZrO2 structure is very much dominated by kinetic effects. Tetragonal ZrO2 crystallizes at 400 °C from an amorphous ZrO2 precursor state and persists in the further substantial transformation into the thermodynamically more stable monoclinic modification at higher temperatures at fast heating rates. Lower heating rates favor the formation of an increasing amount of monoclinic phase in the product mixture, especially in the temperature region near 600 °C and during/after recooling. If the heat treatment is restricted to 400 °C even under moist conditions, the tetragonal phase is permanently stable, regardless of the heating or cooling rate and, as such, can be used as pure catalyst support. In contrast, the corresponding Y-doped tetragonal ZrO2 phase retains its structure independent of the heating or cooling rate or reaction environment. Pure tetragonal ZrO2 can now be obtained in a structurally stable form, allowing its structural, chemical, or catalytic characterization without in-parallel triggering of unwanted phase transformations, at least if the annealing or reaction temperature is restricted to T ≤ 400 °C.
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