Microstructure of Zirconia-Based Sol-Gel Glasses Studied by SANS
V. Ryukhtina, P. Strunz a, G. Kopitsa b, K. Ezdakova b, N. Gubanova b, V. Ivanovc,d, A. Baranchikov c, B. Angelov e, A. Feoktistov f, V. Pipich f, P. Levinský g
aNuclear Physics Institute ASCR v.v.i., Řež near Prague, 25068, Czech Republic
bPetersburg Nuclear Physics Institute NRC KI, Orlova roscha 1, Gatchina 188300, Russia
cKurnakov Institute of General and Inorganic Chemistry of RAS, Moscow 119991, Russia
dNational Research Tomsk State University, Lenin ave., 36, Tomsk, 634050, Russia
eInstitute of Macromolecular Chemistry ASCR, v.v.i., Heyrovského nám. 2, Prague, 16200, Czech Republic
fJülich Centre for Neutron Science JCNS-FRM II, Lichtenbergstr. 1, Garching, 85747, Germany
gFaculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering, Czech Technical University, Prague, 16600, Czech Republic
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Zirconia-based bulk glasses were prepared for the first time by sol-gel method. Such materials are very promising for application as photochromic devices, catalytic systems, chemical sensors, lasers and other nonlinear optics devices. Obtained transparent and semi-transparent materials were studied by small and ultra-small angle neutron scattering (SANS and USANS) methods. As evidenced by SANS, morphology of zirconia glasses is very sensitive to parameters of sol-gel synthesis, e.g. temperature and concentration of reactants. SANS data correlates rather well with surface porosity data. Increasing water concentration in reaction mixtures containing zirconium propylate leads to a significant increase in fractal cluster size, while decrease of the temperature results in an increase of the fractal dimension. The obtained results indicate that parameters of the microstructure and consequently physical properties of zirconia glasses can be effectively controlled by parameters of synthesis.

DOI: 10.12693/APhysPolA.128.582
PACS numbers: 61.05.fg, 81.20.Fw, 81.05.Kf, 61.43.Fs