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Materials 2016, 9(7), 561;

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

Department of Applied Science, National Hsinchu University of Education, Hsinchu 30014, Taiwan
Department of Chemical Engineering, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu 30013, Taiwan
Chemical Systems Research Division, Chung-Shan Institute of Science & Technology, Taoyuan 32546, Taiwan
Department of Physics, National Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu 30013, Taiwan
Department of Electrophysics, National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu 33013, Taiwan
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)
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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

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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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