Microwave plasma synthesis of lanthanide zirconates from microwave transparent oxides

Yi-Hsin Chou, Nicole Hondow, Chris I. Thomas, Robert Mitchell, Rik Brydson, Richard E. Douthwaite

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Lanthanide zirconate phases Ln(2)Zr(2)O(7) and Ln(4)Zr(3)O(12) (Ln = Y, La, Gd, Dy, Ho, Yb) have been prepared using a microwave induced plasma methodology, which allows rapid synthesis using materials which do not couple directly with microwaves at room temperature. We describe the measurement of heating profiles of the precursor binary metal oxides which can be used to identify conditions conducive to the synthesis of more complex oxides. Uncontrolled heating which can be a feature of microwave synthesis of ceramics is not observed, allowing reproducible synthesis. Conventionally these phases are prepared at > 1400 degrees C over hours or days and are being investigated for applications including the immobilisation of nuclear waste where rapid processing is important. Using the microwave plasma method, phase-pure materials have been prepared in minutes. Furthermore, it is clear that Ln(2)Zr(2)O(7) and Ln(4)Zr(3)O(12) also exhibit significant plasma-promoted dielectric heating (e.g. > 2200 degrees C for Dy4Zr3O12) which is typically greater than either of the respective precursors, thus providing a driving force to rapidly complete the reaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2472-2476
Number of pages5
JournalDalton Transactions
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2012

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