Nanostructured zirconium dioxide (zirconia) films are very promising for catalysis and biotechnological applications: a precise control of the interfacial properties of the material at different length scales and, in particular, at the nanoscale, is therefore necessary. Here, we present the characterization of cluster-assembled zirconia films produced by supersonic cluster beam deposition possessing cubic structure at room temperature and controlled nanoscale morphology. We characterized the effect of thermal annealing in reducing and oxidizing conditions on the crystalline structure, grain dimensions, and topography. We highlight the mechanisms of film growth and phase transitions, which determine the observed interfacial morphological properties and their resilience against thermal treatments. Published by AIP Publishing.
Borghi F, Sogne E, Lenardi C, Podestà A, Merlini M, et al. (2016) Cluster-assembled cubic zirconia films with tunable and stable nanoscale morphology against thermal annealing. Journal of Applied Physics 120: 055302. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4960441.
This work has been supported by the Italian Ministry of University and Research, MIUR, through the “National Funding for Basic Research” (FIRB) action; project FIRB RBA-P11AYN “Oxides at the nanoscale: functionalities and applications.” The Elettra Synchrotron Radiation Facility is acknowledged for provision of beam time, and Dr. A. Lausi and Dr. J. Plaiser for assistance during synchrotron experiments at MCX beamline.