Next Article in Journal
Synthesis of Mesoporous γ-Al2O3 with Spongy Structure: In-Situ Conversion of Metal-Organic Frameworks and Improved Performance as Catalyst Support in Hydrodesulfurization
Next Article in Special Issue
Spray-Drying of Electrode Materials for Lithium- and Sodium-Ion Batteries
Previous Article in Journal
The Changes in the Morphology of Bi–Sb System under Centrifugal Force at Room Temperature
Previous Article in Special Issue
Fe-Based Nano-Materials in Catalysis
Article Menu
Issue 7 (July) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Materials 2018, 11(7), 1066; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11071066

Pair Distribution Function Analysis of ZrO2 Nanocrystals and Insights in the Formation of ZrO2-YBa2Cu3O7 Nanocomposites

1
Sol-gel Centre for Research on Inorganic Powders and Thin films Synthesis (SCRiPTS), Department of Chemistry, Ghent University, Krijgslaan 281-S3, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
2
Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics, Columbia University, 1105 S.W. Mudd, New York, NY 10027, USA
3
Wihuri Physical Laboratory, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Turku, 20014 Turku, Finland
4
BASF SE, Advanced Materials & Systems Research, Carl-Bosch-Straße 38, 67056 Ludwigshafen am Rhein, Germany
5
Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Science Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY 11973, USA
6
Deutsche Nanoschicht GmbH, Heisenbergstraβe 16, 53359 Rheinbach, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 24 May 2018 / Revised: 19 June 2018 / Accepted: 20 June 2018 / Published: 23 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue State-of-the-Art Materials Science in Belgium 2017)
Full-Text   |   PDF [3417 KB, uploaded 23 June 2018]   |  

Abstract

The formation of superconducting nanocomposites from preformed nanocrystals is still not well understood. Here, we examine the case of ZrO2 nanocrystals in a YBa2Cu3O7−x matrix. First we analyzed the preformed ZrO2 nanocrystals via atomic pair distribution function analysis and found that the nanocrystals have a distorted tetragonal crystal structure. Second, we investigated the influence of various surface ligands attached to the ZrO2 nanocrystals on the distribution of metal ions in the pyrolyzed matrix via secondary ion mass spectroscopy technique. The choice of stabilizing ligand is crucial in order to obtain good superconducting nanocomposite films with vortex pinning. Short, carboxylate based ligands lead to poor superconducting properties due to the inhomogeneity of metal content in the pyrolyzed matrix. Counter-intuitively, a phosphonate ligand with long chains does not disturb the growth of YBa2Cu3O7−x. Even more surprisingly, bisphosphonate polymeric ligands provide good colloidal stability in solution but do not prevent coagulation in the final film, resulting in poor pinning. These results thus shed light on the various stages of the superconducting nanocomposite formation. View Full-Text
Keywords: chemical solution deposition; nucleation and growth; nanocomposite; thin film; YBa2Cu3O7−δ; superconductor; nanoparticles; SIMS chemical solution deposition; nucleation and growth; nanocomposite; thin film; YBa2Cu3O7−δ; superconductor; nanoparticles; SIMS
Figures

Figure 1

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).

Supplementary material

SciFeed
Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Rijckaert, H.; De Roo, J.; Van Zele, M.; Banerjee, S.; Huhtinen, H.; Paturi, P.; Bennewitz, J.; Billinge, S.J.L.; Bäcker, M.; De Buysser, K.; Van Driessche, I. Pair Distribution Function Analysis of ZrO2 Nanocrystals and Insights in the Formation of ZrO2-YBa2Cu3O7 Nanocomposites. Materials 2018, 11, 1066.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Materials EISSN 1996-1944 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top