Researchers in Isfahan University of Technology has developed a new method for synthesis of ceramic metastable nanopowders.
The findings of the research study would find applications in different industries including aerospace, ceramics and fuel cells.
Zirconia (ZrO2) has three different structures of monoclinic, tetragonal and cubic. In room temperature, monoclinic, and in higher temperatures cubic and tetragonal structures are metastable. Stabilized zirconia has wide applications in industry and production of oxygen-based sensors and fuel cell membranes, since oxygen ions pass through these membranes in higher temperatures. This property makes zirconia an important electroceramic.
The research synthesized zirconia structures which are metastable in temperatures above 1200 degrees Celsius. The particles range about 50nm in size. The method significantly reduces production costs of sensors and fuel cells. The method also reduced environmental pollution as the result of zirconium synthesis.
The nanometer size of finished powder provides it unique applications; it becomes stealth and not detectable in radars when mixed with its different particle sizes.
The ballmilling of zirconia and optimization of the effective parameters produced different stable and semi-stable zirconia structures. Using oxides improves the stability of structures further. The research study has been published in Ceramics International, No. 40, Issue 8, pages 13217-13221 by Ali Saeidi, Ali Shafyei and Mohsen Golzar Shahri.