Lattice variation of cubic Y2O3 in three dimensions: Temperature, pressure and crystal size

Chen Barad, Giora Kimmel, Brian A. Rosen, Alla Sahartov, Hagay Hayun, Jacob Zabicky, Yaniv Gelbstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Yttrium oxide (Y2O3) is a ceramic material in use in various fields such as catalysis, thermal barrier coatings, dental ceramics, solid-state lasers, solid oxide fuel cells and etc. In nanoscale metal oxides, unlike metals, the dependence of the lattice parameter on the crystal size is in dispute. Y2O3 and 5 vol% Y2O3 in MgO powders were synthesized via the sol-gel technique. The latter was made in order to produce Y2O3 inclusions in MgO, allowing for the study of differences resulting from crystal size with inhibited thermal growth. However, the lattice parameters of the C-type Y2O3 were significantly lower than expected due to misfit high compression stress. High-temperature X-ray diffraction (HT-XRD) was used in order to investigate in situ crystal structure and microstructure variations of Y2O3 imbedded in MgO as formed at high temperatures free of misfit strain, comparing with in situ study of pure Y2O3 formation at the same temperature range. It was found that nanocrystalline C-type Y2O3 was formed at a temperature range of 873–1163 K. Lattice parameters and crystal size were evaluated by using Rietveld refinement and high resolution scanning electron microscopy (HR-SEM). The relative lattice parameter changes as a function of crystal size were obtained by analyzing the in situ HT-XRD data from 873 to 1573 K. Those results along with those obtained at room temperature showed a non-monotonic trend: lattice contraction versus decreasing crystal size at the range of 60–45 nm crystal size and lattice expansion versus decreasing crystal size for smaller crystals (approximately 0.11%). The non-monotonic lattice variation was modeled by assuming two effects acting simultaneously as a function of crystal size: lattice contraction due to hydrostatic pressure caused by the surface tension and Madelung model predicting lattice expansion due to weakening of bonding force in small ionic crystals. The calculated theoretical lattice parameters values which were obtained by using this model were compared to the experimental results yielding a better understanding of the lattice variations in nano-Y2O3.

Original languageEnglish
Article number161199
JournalJournal of Alloys and Compounds
StatePublished - 10 Dec 2021


  • Ceramics
  • Crystal structure
  • High Resolution Scaning Electrom Microscopy (HR-SEM)
  • Sol-gel processes
  • X-ray powder diffraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Materials Chemistry


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