, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 327-335

Microwave technique applied to the hydrothermal synthesis and sintering of calcia stabilized zirconia nanoparticles

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Abstract

This study is focused on the synthesis of zirconia nanopowders stabilized by 6%mol calcia prepared under hydrothermal conditions using microwave technology. Sodium hydroxide-based hydrolysis of zirconyl chloride solution containing calcium nitrate followed by microwave irradiation at the temperature of 220 °C for 30 min was sufficient to obtain white powders of crystalline calcia stabilized zirconia. By means of X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy, it was shown that tetragonal zirconia nanocrystallites with a size of ca 7 nm and diameter/standard deviation ratio of 0.10 were formed. The effects of the [Ca2+] and [NaOH] as well as temperature and time of microwave irradiation on the density and specific surface area were evaluated. Sintering test of the tetragonal nanopowders at 1,300 °C in air was performed in a monomode microwave applicator. The sample was sintered to the density of 95% and the grain size, analyzed by field emission scanning electron microscopy, was in the range from 90 to 170 nm.