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Materials 2016, 9(7), 561; doi:10.3390/ma9070561

Structural Transitions in Nanosized Zn0.97Al0.03O Powders under High Pressure Analyzed by in Situ Angle-Dispersive X-ray Diffraction

1
Department of Applied Science, National Hsinchu University of Education, Hsinchu 30014, Taiwan
2
Department of Chemical Engineering, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu 30013, Taiwan
3
Chemical Systems Research Division, Chung-Shan Institute of Science & Technology, Taoyuan 32546, Taiwan
4
Department of Physics, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu 30013, Taiwan
5
Department of Electrophysics, National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu 33013, Taiwan
6
National Synchrotron Radiation Research Center, 101 Hsin-Ann Road, Hsinchu Science Park, Hsinchu 30076, Taiwan
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Martin O. Steinhauser
Received: 25 May 2016 / Revised: 28 June 2016 / Accepted: 7 July 2016 / Published: 12 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Computational Multiscale Modeling and Simulation in Materials Science)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2048 KB, uploaded 12 July 2016]   |  

Abstract

Nanosized aluminum-doped zinc oxide Zn1−xAlxO (AZO) powders (AZO-NPs) with x = 0.01, 0.03, 0.06, 0.09 and 0.11 were synthesized by chemical precipitation method. The thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) indicated that the precursors were converted to oxides from hydroxides near 250 °C, which were then heated to 500 °C for subsequent thermal processes to obtain preliminary powders. The obtained preliminary powders were then calcined at 500 °C for three hours. The structure and morphology of the products were measured and characterized by angle-dispersive X-ray diffraction (ADXRD) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). ADXRD results showed that AZO-NPs with Al content less than 11% exhibited würtzite zinc oxide structure and there was no other impurity phase in the AZO-NPs, suggesting substitutional doping of Al on Zn sites. The Zn0.97Al0.03O powders (A3ZO-NPs) with grain size of about 21.4 nm were used for high-pressure measurements. The in situ ADXRD measurements revealed that, for loading run, the pressure-induced würtzite (B4)-to-rocksalt (B1) structural phase transition began at 9.0(1) GPa. Compared to the predicted phase-transition pressure of ~12.7 GPa for pristine ZnO nanocrystals of similar grain size (~21.4 nm), the transition pressure for the present A3ZO-NPs exhibited a reduction of ~3.7 GPa. The significant reduction in phase-transition pressure is attributed to the effects of highly selective site occupation, namely Zn2+ and Al3+, were mainly found in tetrahedral and octahedral sites, respectively. View Full-Text
Keywords: aluminum-doped zinc oxide; zinc-blende; phase transition; angle-dispersive X-ray diffraction aluminum-doped zinc oxide; zinc-blende; phase transition; angle-dispersive X-ray diffraction
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Lin, C.-M.; Liu, H.-T.; Zhong, S.-Y.; Hsu, C.-H.; Chiu, Y.-T.; Tai, M.-F.; Juang, J.-Y.; Chuang, Y.-C.; Liao, Y.-F. Structural Transitions in Nanosized Zn0.97Al0.03O Powders under High Pressure Analyzed by in Situ Angle-Dispersive X-ray Diffraction. Materials 2016, 9, 561.

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