skip to main content


The NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) system and access will be unavailable from 5:00 PM ET until 11:00 PM ET on Friday, June 21 due to maintenance. We apologize for the inconvenience.

This content will become publicly available on February 24, 2025

Title: Leveraging Crystallization Pathway to Control Structure in Hf 0.5 Zr 0.5 O 2 Nanoparticles

Hf0.5Zr0.5O2‐based materials have garnered significant attention for applications requiring ferroelectricity at the nanoscale. This behavior arises due to the stabilization of metastable phases at room temperature. However, the synthesis of phase pure Hf0.5Zr0.5O2remains a challenging problem in both thin films and nanoparticles. Herein, the crystallization of Hf0.5Zr0.5O2nanoparticles from an as‐synthesized amorphous phase is studied. By tailoring the aggregate nature of the intermediate amorphous nanoparticles via different drying processes, the crystallization pathway can be altered, resulting in significant differences in crystal structure, crystallite size, and crystallite morphology after calcination. X‐ray diffraction (XRD) and Rietveld refinement show the dominant crystallographic phase changes from a monoclinic structure to a cubic structure for samples with decreased aggregation. Samples prepared via freeze drying exhibit the most aggregation control and correspond with the observation of single‐crystalline particle aggregates and branching structures attributed to a crystallization by particle attachment mechanism. Herein, differing crystallization pathways lead to unique crystal morphologies that stabilize the traditionally high‐temperature phases of Hf0.5Zr0.5O2‐based materials that are necessary for functional applications.

more » « less
Author(s) / Creator(s):
Publisher / Repository:
Wiley Blackwell (John Wiley & Sons)
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Advanced Engineering Materials
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    Phase‐pure [NiO]0.5[Al2O3]0.5spinel nanoparticles (NPs) with limited aggregation were obtained via liquid‐feed flame spray pyrolysis (LF‐FSP) by combusting metalloorganic precursor solutions. Thereafter “chocolate chip‐like” Nix[NiO0.5‐x][Al2O3]0.5nanoparticles consisting of primary [NiO0.5‐x][Al2O3]0.5particles with average particle sizes of 40‐60 nm decorated with Ni metal particles (<10 nm in diameter) dispersed on the surface were synthesized by heat treating the spinel NPs at 800°C/7 h in flowing 5% H2:N2100 mL/min in a fluidized bed reactor. The synthesized materials were characterized using TEM, XRD, FTIR, and TGA/DTA. The Ni depleted areas consist primarily of γ‐Al2O3. The Ni content (800°C) was determined by TGA to be ≈11.3 wt.% based on TGA oxidation behavior. The successful synthesis of such nanocomposites with limited aggregation on a high temperature support provides a facile route to synthesize well‐defined NP catalysts. This work serves as a baseline study for an accompanying paper, wherein thin, flexible, dense films made from these same NPs are used as regenerable catalysts for carbon nanotube syntheses.

    more » « less
  2. Abstract

    Next‐generation electronics and energy technologies can now be developed as a result of the design, discovery, and development of novel, environmental friendly lead (Pb)‐free ferroelectric materials with improved characteristics and performance. However, there have only been a few reports of such complex materials’ design with multi‐phase interfacial chemistry, which can facilitate enhanced properties and performance. In this context, herein, novel lead‐free piezoelectric materials (1‐x)Ba0.95Ca0.05Ti0.95Zr0.05O3‐(x)Ba0.95Ca0.05Ti0.95Sn0.05O3, are reported, which are represented as (1‐x)BCZT‐(x)BCST, with demonstrated excellent properties and energy harvesting performance. The (1‐x)BCZT‐(x)BCST materials are synthesized by high‐temperature solid‐state ceramic reaction method by varyingxin the full range (x= 0.00–1.00). In‐depth exploration research is performed on the structural, dielectric, ferroelectric, and electro‐mechanical properties of (1‐x)BCZT‐(x)BCST ceramics. The formation of perovskite structure for all ceramics without the presence of any impurity phases is confirmed by X‐ray diffraction (XRD) analyses, which also reveals that the Ca2+, Zr4+, and Sn4+are well dispersed within the BaTiO3lattice. For all (1‐x)BCZT‐(x)BCST ceramics, thorough investigation of phase formation and phase‐stability using XRD, Rietveld refinement, Raman spectroscopy, high‐resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM), and temperature‐dependent dielectric measurements provide conclusive evidence for the coexistence of orthorhombic + tetragonal (Amm2+P4mm) phases at room temperature. The steady transition ofAmm2crystal symmetry toP4mmcrystal symmetry with increasingxcontent is also demonstrated by Rietveld refinement data and related analyses. The phase transition temperatures, rhombohedral‐orthorhombic (TR‐O), orthorhombic‐ tetragonal (TO‐T), and tetragonal‐cubic (TC), gradually shift toward lower temperature with increasingxcontent. For (1‐x)BCZT‐(x)BCST ceramics, significantly improved dielectric and ferroelectric properties are observed, including relatively high dielectric constantεr≈ 1900–3300 (near room temperature),εr≈ 8800–12 900 (near Curie temperature), dielectric loss, tanδ≈ 0.01–0.02, remanent polarizationPr≈ 9.4–14 µC cm−2, coercive electric fieldEc≈ 2.5–3.6 kV cm−1. Further, high electric field‐induced strainS≈ 0.12–0.175%, piezoelectric charge coefficientd33≈ 296–360 pC N−1, converse piezoelectric coefficient ≈ 240–340 pm V−1, planar electromechanical coupling coefficientkp≈ 0.34–0.45, and electrostrictive coefficient (Q33)avg≈ 0.026–0.038 m4C−2are attained. Output performance with respect to mechanical energy demonstrates that the (0.6)BCZT‐(0.4)BCST composition (x= 0.4) displays better efficiency for generating electrical energy and, thus, the synthesized lead‐free piezoelectric (1‐x)BCZT‐(x)BCST samples are suitable for energy harvesting applications. The results and analyses point to the outcome that the (1‐x)BCZT‐(x)BCST ceramics as a potentially strong contender within the family of Pb‐free piezoelectric materials for future electronics and energy harvesting device technologies.

    more » « less
  3. The recently discovered Cu46Zr33.5Hf13.5Al7 (at.%) bulk metallic glass (BMG) presents the highest glass-forming ability (GFA) among all known copper-based alloys, with a record-breaking critical casting thickness (or diameter) of 28.5 mm. At present, much remains to be explored about this new BMG that holds exceptional promise for engineering applications. Here, we report our study on the crystallization behavior of this new BMG, using isochronal and isothermal differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). With the calorimetric data, we determine the apparent activation energy of crystallization, the Avrami exponent, and the lower branch of the isothermal time–temperature–transformation (TTT) diagram. With XRD and TEM, we identify primary and secondary crystal phases utilizing samples crystallized to different degrees within the calorimeter. We also estimate the number density, nucleation rate, and growth rate of the primary crystals through TEM image analysis. Our results reveal that the crystallization in this BMG has a high activation energy of ≈360 kJ/mole and that the primary crystallization of this BMG produces a high number density (≈1021 m−3 at 475 °C) of slowly growing (growth rate < 0.5 nm/s at 475 °C) Cu10(Zr,Hf)7 nanocrystals dispersed in the glassy matrix, while the second crystallization event further produces a new phase, Cu(Zr,Hf)2. The results help us to understand the GFA and thermal stability of this new BMG and provide important guidance for its future engineering applications, including its usage as a precursor to glass–crystal composite or bulk nanocrystalline structures. 
    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    Ferroelectric switching is demonstrated in CeO2‐doped Hf0.5Zr0.5O2(HZCO) thin films with application in back‐end‐of‐line compatible embedded memories. At low cerium oxide doping concentrations (2.0–5.6 mol%), the ferroelectric orthorhombic phase is stabilized after annealing at temperatures below 400 °C. HZCO ferroelectrics show reliable switching characteristics beyond 1011cycles in TiN/HZCO/TiN capacitors, several orders of magnitude greater than identically processed Hf0.5Zr0.5O2(HZO) capacitors, without sacrificing polarization and retention. Internal photoemission and photoconductivity experiments show that CeO2‐doping introduces in‐gap states in HZCO that are nearly aligned with TiN Fermi level, facilitating electron injection through these states. The enhanced average bulk conduction, which may lead to more uniform thermal dissipation in the HZCO films, delays irreversible degradation via breakdown that leads to device failure after repeated programming cycles.

    more » « less
    more » « less