Zr segregation and associated al vacancies in alumina grain boundaries

James P. Buban, Teruyasu Mizoguchi, Naoya Shibata, Eiji Abe, Takahisa Yamamoto, Yuichi Ikuhara

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    Segregated dopants at grain boundary dramatically change the material's mechanical and electrical properties. The knowledge of the behavior of these dopants are therefore key for further material developments. Here, a Zr doped alumina (Al2O3) bicrystal was fabricated and the atomic structure of the grain boundary was characterized using scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM). Zr was found to segregate to specific sites along the grain boundary, which was neighbored by Al columns of weak image intensity. First principles calculations and static lattice calculations revealed that the charge compensating Al vacancies are most stable in Al columns neighboring the location of the Zr sites. Multi-slice simulations of STEM images confirmed that Al columns containing vacancies exhibit a reduction in image intensity. These results indicate that associated Al vacancies strongly influence its atomic site segregation behavior of Zr.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)840-844
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of the Ceramic Society of Japan
    Issue number1395
    Publication statusPublished - 2011 Nov


    • Alumina
    • Bicrystal
    • Grain boundary
    • Scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM)Z-contrast
    • Segregation
    • Vacancy
    • Zirconia

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Ceramics and Composites
    • Chemistry(all)
    • Condensed Matter Physics
    • Materials Chemistry


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