Structural Investigations on the Compositional Anomalies in Lanthanum Zirconate System Synthesized by Coprecipitation Method



The study set out to investigate the compositional inconsistency in lanthanum zirconate system revealed the presence of nonstoichiometry in lanthanum zirconate powders when synthesized by coprecipitation route. X-ray diffraction (XRD) and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) investigations confirmed the depletion of La3+ ions in the system. Analysis using Vegard's law showed the La/Zr mole ratio in the sample to be around 0.45. An extra step of ultrasonication, introduced during the washing stage followed by the coprecipitation reaction, ensured the formation of stoichiometric La2Zr2O7. Noteworthy is also the difference between crystal sizes in the samples prepared by with and without ultrasonication step. This difference has been explained in light of the formation of individual nuclei and their scope of growth within the precipitate core. The differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) analyses revealed that optimum pH for the synthesis of La2Zr2O7 is about 11. The ultrasonication step was pivotal in assuring consistency in mixing and composition for the lanthanum zirconate powders.