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Characterization of Nanocrystalline PZT Synthesized via a Hydrothermal Method

S. Harada and S. Dunn
Cranfield University, UK

PZT, nanoscale, hydrothermal

Nanoscale lead zirconate titanate (PZT) has the potential to become a key component in a myriad of emerging future applications. A sound knowledge of the underlying physical and chemical processes involved in the formation and applications of these particles is clearly essential for the successful development of devices. This paper describes the progress made in characterising nanoscale PZT synthesised via a novel hydrothermal method. Low temperatures (¡Ü 200¡ãC) and high mineraliser (potassium hydroxide) concentrations were used to produce single-phase, perovskite PZT in a bomb-type reactor. Powder X-ray diffraction was used to analyse the crystalline structure. The PZT phase appeared after just 30 minutes of processing time at 140¡ãC. However, 2 hours of processing time at 160¡ãC was necessary to attain complete phase purity. Scanning electron microscopy was used to characterise the morphology of the PZT samples. The particles had a wide size distribution, from nanoscale agglomerates with irregular morphology, up to micron-sized cubes. It is believed that the differences in morphology can be attributed to two distinct formation stages.

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