The modulated structure formed in ZrO2-6mol% Y2O3alloy annealed at 1200° C for 126 h has been analysed by nanoprobe analytical electron microscopy. Transmission electron microscopy-energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy analysis revealed that the Y-to-Zr ratio fluctuates along a direction perpendicular to the dark and bright lamellae of the modulated structure. The fluctuation arises in a composition range between 1 and 8mol% Y2O3with a wavelength of about 15 nm. The dark and bright contrast is shown to be associated with the compositional fluctuation, which must be formed by spinodal decomposition.
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