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Rare-Earth Zirconate Ln2Zr2O7 (Ln: La, Nd, Gd, and Dy) Powders, Xerogels, and Aerogels: Preparation, Structure, and Properties
journal contributionposted on 2019-10-15, 15:45 authored by Jorge Torres-Rodriguez, Vanessa Gutierrez-Cano, Melita Menelaou, Jaroslav Kaštyl, Jaroslav Cihlář, Serhii Tkachenko, Jesús A. González, József Kalmár, István Fábián, István Lázár, Ladislav Čelko, Jozef Kaiser
The physicochemical properties of rare-earth zirconates can be tuned by the rational modification of their structures and phase compositions. In the present work, La3+-, Nd3+-, Gd3+-, and Dy3+-zirconate nanostructured materials were prepared by different synthetic protocols, leading to powders, xerogels, and, for the first time, monolithic aerogels. Powders were synthesized by the co-precipitation method, while xerogels and aerogels were synthesized by the sol–gel technique, followed by ambient and supercritical drying, respectively. Their microstructures, thermogravimetric profiles, textural properties, and crystallographic structures are reported. The co-precipitation method led to dense powders (SBET < 1 m2 g–1), while the sol–gel technique resulted in large surface area xerogels (SBET = 144 m2 g–1) and aerogels (SBET = 168 m2 g–1). In addition, the incorporation of lanthanide ions into the zirconia lattice altered the crystal structures of the powders, xerogels, and aerogels. Single-phase pyrochlores were obtained for La2Zr2O7 and Nd2Zr2O7 powders and xerogels, while defect fluorite structures formed in the case of Gd2Zr2O7 and Dy2Zr2O7. All aerogels contain a mixture of cubic and tetragonal ZrO2 phases. Thus, a direct effect is shown between the drying conditions and the resulting crystalline phases of the nanostructured rare-earth zirconates.