Readman, Jennifer E., Lister, Sarah E., Peters, Lars, Wright, Jon and Evans, John S. O.
Direct Synthesis of Cubic ZrMo2O8Followed by Ultrafast In Situ Powder Diffraction.
Journal of the American Chemical Society, 131
There has been a considerable amount of interest in negative thermal expansion (NTE) phases which are of importance, for example, in the manufacture of low or zero expansion composite materials. Cubic γ-ZrMo2O8 is of importance since it shows smooth NTE (α = −8 × 10−6 K−1 at 100 K) over a wide temperature range with no significant discontinuities as a function of temperature. The material has long been thought to be metastable at all temperatures and has previously only been produced under kinetic control by routes such as the careful dehydration of ZrMo2O7(OH)2·2H2O. High-speed, high-temperature in situ diffraction studies carried out at beamline ID11 at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) have shown that it is in fact possible to prepare γ-ZrMo2O8 directly from the constituent oxides in a narrow temperature window around 1400 K where it appears to be entropically stabilized. Under these conditions γ-ZrMo2O8 forms in a matter of seconds and can be quenched to room temperature. Full quantitative Rietveld analysis of diffraction patterns collected in as little as 0.25 s during the synthesis has allowed the reaction pathway to be followed.