Structures, Thermodynamics and Phase Relations in Selected Oxide Systems
Understanding of the interrelationship between structure, thermodynamic properties and phase diagrams is very useful for rationalizing the behavior of materials and development of predictive models, which can be used to optimize the composition of materials and their fabrication processes. The properties of materials are governed by its electronic and crystallographic structure. Chemical bonding determines the electronic structure of materials. Furthermore, the electronic structure plays a predominant role in determining the physical, electrical, magnetic, thermal and optical properties of materials. Crystal structure also influences most properties of materials. Since changes in thermodynamic variables such as temperature, pressure, and composition dramatically alter the physical properties of materials and its structure, it is desirable to study the thermodynamic stability of materials in conjunction with phase relations. Phase diagrams can indicate the ranges of pressure, temperature and chemical composition where specific phases and mixtures of phases are stable. If the Gibbs energies of all the phases involved are known, phase diagram can be computed using Gibbs energy minimization algorithms. In recent times, one of the important uses of thermodynamics in materials science has been in the computation of phase diagrams. To materials scientists phase diagrams are like maps to travelers. They guide the path through the composition space to find phases, fulfilling specific materials performance requirements. As phase diagrams are the graphic representations of minimizations of Gibbs energy under given constraints, computational thermodynamics significantly expands our capability to walk in the multi-component space of engineering materials. High-temperature phase-equilibrium studies, thermodynamics and materials processing have had a close relationship over a number of decades. Successful utilization of ceramic materials under different environmental conditions at high temperatures requires accurate thermodynamic data. Focus of the present investigation is to obtain correct phase relations and accurate thermodynamic data in selected technologically important ceramic oxide systems in which the data are either not available or are inconsistent. Based on the experimental data, different types of phase diagrams are computed for the systems of contemporary relevance. After a brief introduction, Chapter 1 discusses the brief overview of the experimental techniques available for determining the phase relations and thermodynamic properties at high temperatures and the methods used in this study. The chapter reviews the possible sources of errors in experimental techniques and tests for correct functioning. In Chapter 2, systematic studies on high-temperature phase equilibria and thermodynamic properties of compounds in the ternary systems Ln-Pd-O (Ln = La, Pr, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho and Er) are presented. Some of the ternary oxides on the Ln-Pd-O systems have potential application in catalysis and electrochemistry. To optimize the parameters for the synthesis and to understand the behavior of the catalysts, it is useful to have information on the thermodynamic stability domain of each compound. Quantitative information on the stability of the ternary oxides is also useful for assessing the interaction of metal Pd with ceramic compounds containing rare-earth elements under different environments. Furthermore, the thermodynamic data are beneficial for the design of processes for the recovery of rare earth and precious metals from scrap. There is very little thermodynamic and phase diagram information on the Ln-Pd-O systems. Isothermal sections of phase diagram for the ternary system La-Pd-O at 1200 K and for the systems Ln-Pd-O (Ln = Pr, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho and Er) at 1223 K, were established by the isothermal equilibration technique at high temperatures. Phases were identified after quenching by optical and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). Based on the phase relations, the thermodynamic properties of ternary interoxide compounds were determined by the solid-state galvanic cell technique over a range of temperature between 925 - 1400 K. An advanced version of the solid-state cell incorporating a buffer electrode was used for high temperature thermodynamic measurements. The function of the buffer electrode, placed between reference and working electrodes, was to absorb the electrochemical flux of the mobile species through the solid electrolyte caused by trace electronic conductivity. The buffer electrode prevented polarization of the measuring electrode and ensured accurate data. Yttria-stabilized zirconia was used as the solid electrolyte and pure oxygen gas at a pressure of 0.1 MPa as the reference electrode. These novel features enhanced the accuracy of thermodynamic data. From electrochemical measurements, the standard enthalpies of formation of these oxides from elements and their standard entropies at 298.15 K were also evaluated. The variation of the lattice parameters and unit cell volume as a function of rare earth atomic number for the three ternary compounds Ln4PdO7, Ln2PdO4 (Ln = La, Pr, Nd, Sm, Eu, Gd) and Ln2Pd2O5 (Ln = La to Er) are discussed. The systematic variations of thermodynamic properties of all the ternary compounds as a function of rare earth atomic number are presented and correlated with structural features. Thermodynamic and structural parameters of uninvestigated Ln-Pd-O systems (Ln = Ce, Pm) can be obtained by interpolation. Based on the thermodynamic information obtained in this study and auxiliary data on binary compounds available in the literature, different types of phase diagrams, isothermal oxygen potential diagrams, isobaric phase diagrams, isothermal two dimensional and three-dimensional chemical potential diagrams for the systems Ln-Pd-O (Ln = La, Pr, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho and Er) are constructed. Chapter 3 contains the studies on partial phase diagrams of the systems M-Ru-O (M = Ca and Sr) at 1300 K and determination of Gibbs energies of formation of calcium and stronsium ruthenates in the temperature range from 925 to 1350 K using solid-state cells with yttria-stabilized zirconia as the electrolyte and Ru + RuO2 as the reference electrode. Gibbs energies, enthalpies and entropies of formation of calcium and strontium ruthenates from their component binary oxides were deduced. The standard enthalpies of formation of these oxides from elements and their standard entropies at 298.15 K were also evaluated. Based on the thermodynamic data obtained in this study and auxiliary information from the literature, the three dimensional representation of oxygen potential diagram for the M-Ru-O systems (M = Ca and Sr) as a function of composition and temperature are computed. The purpose of this chapter is to determine the thermodynamic stability of alkaline earth metal ruthenates in the perovskite related layered system Mn+1RunO3n+1 (n = 1, 2, and ¥ for Ca-Ru-O system and n = 1, 2, 3 and µ for Sr-Ru-O system) since these calcium and stronsium ruthenates have interesting magnetic and electronic device applications. Moreover, there is no literature available for thermodynamic properties on first and second members of the Ruddelsdon-Popper (R-P) series in Ca-Ru-O system, Ca2RuO4, Ca3Ru2O7 and third member of R-P series in Sr-Ru-O system, Sr4Ru3O10. Some of the available literature information on thermodynamic properties for other compounds of R-P series in Mn+1RunO3n+1 (M = Ca, Sr) are found to be based on incorrect assumptions and erroneous calculation. Thus, this chapter provides the complete thermodynamic information for all the electronically and magnetically applicable alkaline earth metal ruthenates for optimizing the deposition condition in device fabrications. Chapter 4 gives the structure-properties correlations of 2-3 spinel compounds and spinel-corundum equilibria for the system NiO-Al2O3-Cr2O3 at 1373 K. Nickel, aluminum and chromium are important base-constituent elements of high-temperature oxidation-resistant alloys. A spinel phase is usually found in the protective scale formed on the surface of the alloys. There is no thermodynamic data on spinel solid solution NiAl2O4-NiCr2O4. Thus, the phase relations and mixing properties of the spinel solid solution have been determined in this chapter. The inter-crystalline ion-exchange equilibrium between NiAl2+2xO4+3x-NiCr2O4 spinel solid solution and Al2O3-Cr2O3 solid solution with corundum structure in pseudo-ternary system NiO-Al2O3-Cr2O3 have been determined by the conventional tie-line rotation method at 1373 K. The nonstoichiometry of NiAl2+2xO4+3x has been taken into consideration. Lattice parameters were used to obtain the compositions of the corundum and spinel solid solutions at equilibrium. Formation of homogeneous solid solutions and attainment of equilibrium were confirmed by X-ray diffraction (XRD) and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS). From the experimental tie-line information and thermodynamic data on Al2O3-Cr2O3 solid solution available in the literature, the activities in the spinel solid solution were derived by using a modified Gibbs-Duhem integration technique. Gibbs energy of mixing of the spinel solid solution has been calculated from the derived activity data. Since high temperature data generation is expensive and time consuming, it is useful to develop models, which relate thermodynamic properties to electronic and crystallographic structure, leading to predictive modeling of mixing properties. By comparing the results from models with experimental information, one can evolve methodologies for the prediction of the properties of uninvestigated system. A model can be used to discriminate among conflicting experimental data and extrapolate the data into regions where direct measurements are lacking or difficult to perform. In this chapter, a model approach has also been considered to analyze the activity-composition relationship in the NiAl2O4-NiCr2O4 spinel solid solution in terms of the intra-crystalline exchange of cations between the tetrahedral and octahedral sites of the spinel structure governed by site preference energies of the cations. Since Ni2+ and Cr3+ ion in tetrahedral coordination exhibits Jahn-Teller distortion, an entropy corresponding to randomization of the distortion in the cubic phase has been incorporated in the cation distribution model. The thermodynamic mixing properties of stoichiometric spinel solid solution NiAl2O4-NiCr2O4 in terms of one mole of mixing species were computed at 1373 K. The strain energy caused by size mismatch was added as a separate term to the Gibbs energy of mixing using empirical relationship between enthalpy of mixing for a pair of ions and the difference in their ionic volumes. Madelung constant and electrostatic contribution of energy of mixing of the spinel solid solution have also been computed. Comparison of Gibbs energy of mixing calculated using the cation mixing model for the stoichiometric spinel solid solution NiAl2O4-NiCr2O4 with that of the experimental tie-line data for nonstoichiometric spinel solid solution NiAl2+2xO4+3x-NiCr2O4 were included in this chapter. The thermodynamic mixing properties obtained in this study would be helpful in understanding the formation of complex spinel protective layers on alloys containing nickel, aluminium and chromium in high-temperature applications. The summary of the important finding and the conclusions arrived at on the basis of results obtained from the present investigations are presented in Chapter 5.