Few-monolayer yttria-doped zirconia films: Segregation and phase stabilization

P. Lackner, A. J. Brandt, U. Diebold, M. Schmid

Institut für Angewandte Physik, TU Wien, 1040 Wien, Austria
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina 29208, U. S. A.

J. Chem. Phys. 152 (2020) 064709

For most applications, zirconia (ZrO2) is doped with yttria. Doping leads to the stabilization of the tetragonal or cubic phase and increased oxygen ion conductivity. Most previous surface studies of yttria-doped zirconia were plagued by impurities, however. We have studied doping of pure, 5-monolayer ZrO2 films on Rh(111) by x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), and low-energy electron diffraction (LEED). STM and LEED show that the tetragonal phase is stabilized by unexpectedly low dopant concentrations, 0.5 mol % Y2O3, even when the films are essentially fully oxidized (as evidenced by XPS core level shifts). XPS also shows Y segregation to the surface with an estimated segregation enthalpy of -23 ± 4 kJ/mol.

Corresponding author: Michael Schmid (schmid at iap_tuwien_ac_at).

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