Solid-solution Nb-O films containing up to 50 atom % oxygen, prepared by magnetron sputtering, were used to investigate the influence of the oxygen on field crystallization during anodizing at 100 V in 0.1 mol dm-3 ammonium pentaborate electrolyte at 333 K. The findings reveal that field crystallization is hindered dramatically by addition of 20 atom % oxygen to the substrate, while no crystallization occurs for a Nb-50 atom % O substrate. Prior thermal treatment accelerates field crystallization of niobium, but not the Nb-50 atom % O substrate. The thermal treatment is considered to promote generation of precursor sites for crystal nucleation. However, sufficient oxygen in the substrate may restrict precursor development and/or reduce the compressive stresses in the amorphous anodic niobia that can facilitate crystal growth.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Surfaces, Coatings and Films
- Materials Chemistry