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Amorphous, Monoclinic, and Tetragonal Porous Zirconia Through a Controlled Self-Sustained Combustion Route

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Porous, large surface area, metastable zirconias, are of importance to catalytic, electrochemical, biological, and thermal insulation applications. Combustion synthesis is a very commonly used method for producing such zirconias. However, its rapid nature makes control difficult. A simple modification has been made to traditional solution combustion synthesis to address this problem. It involves the addition of starch to yield a starting mixture with a “dough-like” consistency. Just 5 wt% starch is seen to significantly alter the combustion characteristics of the “dough.” In particular, it helps to achieve better control over reaction zone temperature that is significantly lower than the one calculated by the adiabatic approximation typically used in self-propagating high-temperature synthesis. The effect of such control is demonstrated by the ability to tune dough composition to yield zirconias with different phase compositions from the relatively elusive “amorphous” to monoclinic (>30 nm grain size) and tetragonal pure zirconia (<30 nm grain size). The nature of this amorphous phase has been investigated using infrared spectroscopy. Starch content also helps tailor porosity in the final product. Zirconias with an average pore size of about 50 μm and specific surface area as large as 110 m2/g have been obtained.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Materials Research Group, Department of Chemistry, St. Joseph's College, Bangalore 560 027, India 2: Materials Research Centre, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560 012, India

Publication date: 2011-06-01

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