Oxygen diffusion blocking of single grain boundary in yttria-doped zirconia bicrystals

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Yttrium-doped zirconia bicrystals with [001] symmetric tilt ∑5 grain boundaries were fabricated by a diffusion bonding technique, and oxygen diffusion behavior across the grain boundary was measured by secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), tracing 18O isotope. It was found that the 18O fraction across the boundary exhibited explicit decrease around the boundary plane, indicating that the oxygen-diffusion is blocked by the presence of the ∑5 grain boundary. This is the first experimental detection of oxygen diffusion blocking at a single grain boundary in zirconia ceramics. From high-resolution transmission electron microscopy observations and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy analysis, neither amorphous layers nor Si impurity segregation were found at the grain boundary. The grain boundary blocking effect of the ∑5 boundary must be an intrinsic feature arising from its core structure and yttrium solute segregation of the grain boundary.

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