3 years ago

Direct Observation of Oxygen Vacancy Distribution across Yttria-Stabilized Zirconia Grain Boundaries

Direct Observation of Oxygen Vacancy Distribution across Yttria-Stabilized Zirconia Grain Boundaries
Bin Feng, Naoya Shibata, Akihito Kumamoto, Nathan R. Lugg, Yuichi Ikuhara
Crystalline interfaces in materials often govern the macroscopic functional properties owing to their complex structure and chemical inhomogeneity. For ionic crystals, however, such understanding has been precluded by the debatable local anion distribution across crystal interfaces. In this study, using yttria-stabilized zirconia as a model material, the oxygen vacancy distribution across individual grain boundaries was directly quantified by atomic-resolution scanning transmission electron microscopy with ultrahigh-sensitive energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. Combined with dynamical scattering calculations, we unambiguously show that the relative oxygen concentrations increase in four high-angle grain boundaries, indicating that the oxygen vacancies are actually depleted near the grain boundary cores. These results experimentally evidence that the long-range electric interaction is the dominant factor to determine the local point defect distribution at ionic crystal interfaces.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.7b05943

DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.7b05943

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