Tag Archive: Ceria

Feb 01

Computational Materials Science: Where Theory Meets Experiments

Authors: Danny E. P. Vanpoucke,
Journal: Developments in Strategic Ceramic Materials:
Ceramic Engineering and Science Proceedings 36(8), 323-334 (2016)
(ICACC 2015 conference proceeding)
Editors: Waltraud M. Kriven, Jingyang Wang, Dongming Zhu,Thomas Fischer, Soshu Kirihara
ISBN: 978-1-119-21173-0
webpage: Wiley-VCH
export: bibtex
pdf: <preprint> 

Abstract

In contemporary materials research, we are able to create and manipulate materials at ever smaller scales: the growth of wires with nanoscale dimensions and the deposition of layers with a thickness of only a few atoms are just two examples that have become common practice. At this small scale, quantum mechanical effects become important, and this is where computational materials research comes into play. Using clever approximations, it is possible to simulate systems with a scale relevant for experiments. The resulting theoretical models provide fundamental insights in the underlying physics and chemistry, essential for advancing modern materials research. As a result, the use of computational experiments is rapidly becoming an important tool in materials research both for predictive modeling of new materials and for gaining fundamental insights in the behavior of existing materials. Computer and lab experiments have complementary limitations and strengths; only by combining them can the deepest fundamental secrets of a material be revealed.

In this paper, we discuss the application of computational materials science for nanowires on semiconductor surfaces, ceramic materials and flexible metal-organic frameworks, and how direct comparison can advance insight in the structure and properties of these materials.

Feb 01

Doping of CeO2 as a Tunable Buffer Layer for Coated Superconductors: A DFT Study of Mechanical and Electronic Properties

Authors: Danny E. P. Vanpoucke,
Journal: Developments in Strategic Ceramic Materials:
Ceramic Engineering and Science Proceedings 36(8), 169-177 (2016)
(ICACC 2015 conference proceeding)
Editors: Waltraud M. Kriven, Jingyang Wang, Dongming Zhu,Thomas Fischer, Soshu Kirihara
ISBN: 978-1-119-21173-0
webpage: Wiley-VCH
export: bibtex
pdf: <preprint> 

Abstract

In layered ceramic superconductor architectures, CeO2 buffer layers are known to form micro cracks during the fabrication process. To prevent this crack formation, doping of the CeO2 layer has been suggested. In this theoretical study, the influence of dopants (both tetravalent and aliovalent) on the mechanical and structural properties of CeO2 is investigated by means of density functional theory. Group IVa and IVb dopants show clearly distinct stability, with the former favouring interface and surface doping, while the latter favour uniform bulk doping. This behaviour is linked to the dopant electronic structure. The presence of charge compensating vacancies is shown to complicate the mechanical and structural picture for aliovalent dopants. We find that the vacancies often counteract the dopant modifications of the host material. In contrast, all dopants show an inverse relation between the bulk modulus and thermal expansion coefficient, independent of their valency and the presence of oxygen vacancies. Based on the study of these idealized systems, new dopants are suggested for applications.

Oct 28

Aliovalent Doping of CeO2: DFT study of oxidation state and vacancy effects

Authors: Danny E. P. Vanpoucke, Patrick Bultinck, Stefaan Cottenier, Veronique Van Speybroeck, and Isabel Van Driessche,
Journal: J. Mater. Chem. A 2(33), 13723-13737 (2014)
doi: 10.1039/C4TA02449D
IF(2014): 7.443
export: bibtex
pdf: <JMaterChemA> <arXiv>

Abstract

The modification of CeO2 properties by means of aliovalent doping is investigated within the ab initio density functional theory framework. Lattice parameters, dopant atomic radii, bulk moduli and thermal expansion coefficients of fluorite type Ce1-xMxO2-y (with M = Mg, V, Co, Cu, Zn, Nb, Ba, La, Sm, Gd, Yb, and Bi) are presented for 0.00 ≤ x ≤ 0.25. The relative stability of the doped systems is discussed, and the influence of oxygen vacancies is investigated. It is shown that oxygen vacancies tend to increase the lattice parameter, and strongly decrease the bulk modulus. Defect formation energies are correlated with calculated crystal radii and covalent radii of the dopants, and are shown to present no simple trend. The previously observed inverse relationship between the thermal expansion coefficient and the bulk modulus in group IV doped CeO2 [J. Am. Ceram. Soc. 97(1), 258 (2014)] is shown to persist independent of the inclusion of charge compensating vacancies.

Oct 28

Tetravalent Doping of CeO2: The impact of valence electron character on group IV dopant influence

Authors: Danny E. P. Vanpoucke, Stefaan Cottenier, Veronique Van Speybroeck, Isabel Van Driessche, and Patrick Bultinck
Journal: J. Am. Ceram. Soc. 97(1), 258-266 (2014)
doi: 10.1111/jace.12650
IF(2014): 2.610
export: bibtex
pdf: <J.Am.Ceram.Soc.> <arXiv>

Abstract

Fluorite CeO2 doped with group IV elements is studied within the density functional theory (DFT) and DFT + U framework. Concentration-dependent formation energies are calculated for Ce1−xZxO2 (Z = C, Si, Ge, Sn, Pb, Ti, Zr, Hf) with 0 ≤ x ≤ 0.25 and a roughly decreasing trend with ionic radius is observed. The influence of the valence and near valence electronic configuration is discussed, indicating the importance of filled d and f shells near the Fermi level for all properties investigated. A clearly different behavior of group IVa and IVb dopants is observed: the former are more suitable for surface modifications and the latter are more suitable for bulk modifications. For the entire set of group IV dopants, there exists an inverse relation between the change, due to doping, of the bulk modulus, and the thermal expansion coefficients. Hirshfeld-I atomic charges show that charge-transfer effects due to doping are limited to the nearest-neighbor oxygen atoms.

Oct 28

Cover Image of Journal of Computational Chemistry : Extending Hirshfeld-I

Authors: Danny E. P. Vanpoucke
Journal: J. Comput. Chem. 34(5), i-ii (2013)
doi: 10.1002/jcc.23239
IF(2013): 3.601
export: bibtex
pdf: <J.Comput.Chem.>

Abstract

The image shows an isosurface of Hirshfeld-I “atoms in molecules” for Ti-doped CeO2, taken at an electron density of 0.03e/Å3, as presented by Danny E. P. Vanpoucke, Patrick Bultinck, and Isabel Van Driessche on page 405. The cubic Ce0.75Ti0.25O2 unit cell is shown along the 111 direction. The different atoms are still clearly distinguishable at this iso-surface level, and show the Ti atom in the corners to be much smaller than the Ce atoms on the sides. In this issue, this implementation of the Hirshfeld- I method for solids is published back to back with a Comment from Thomas A. Manz and the authors’ Reply.


Cover of Journal of Computational Chemistry: Volume 34, Issue 5, feb. 15, 2013

Oct 28

Tuning of CeO2 buffer layers for coated superconductors through doping

Authors: Danny E. P. Vanpoucke, Stefaan Cottenier, Veronique Van Speybroeck, Patrick Bultinck, and Isabel Van Driessche,
Journal: Appl. Surf. Sci. 260, 32-35 (2012)
doi: 10.1016/j.apsusc.2012.01.032
IF(2012): 2.112
export: bibtex
pdf: <Appl.Surf.Sci.> <arXiv>

Abstract

The appearance of microcracks in cerium oxide (CeO2) buffer layers, as used in buffer layer architectures for coated superconductors, indicates the presence of stress between this buffer layer and the substrate. This stress can originate from the differences in thermal expansion or differences in lattice parameters between the CeO2 buffer layer and the substrate. In this article, we study, by means of ab initio density functional theory calculations, the influence of group IV doping elements on the lattice parameter and bulk modulus of CeO2. Vegard’s law behavior is found for the lattice parameter in systems without oxygen vacancies, and the Shannon crystal radii for the doping elements are retrieved from the lattice expansions. We show that the lattice parameter of the doped CeO2 can be matched to that of the La2Zr2O7 coated NiW substrate substrate for dopant concentrations of about 5%, and that bulk modulus matching is either not possible or would require extreme doping concentrations.

Oct 28

Aqueous CSD approach for the growth of novel, lattice-tuned LaxCe1- xOδ epitaxial layers

Authors: Vyshnavi Narayanan, Petra Lommens, Klaartje De Buysser, Danny E.P. Vanpoucke, Ruben Huehne, Leopoldo Molina, Gustaaf Van Tendeloo , Pascal Van Der Voort, Isabel Van Driessche
Journal: J. Mater. Chem. 22, 8476-8483 (2012)
doi: 10.1039/C2JM15752G
IF(2012): 6.101
export: bibtex
pdf: <J.Mater.Chem.>

Abstract

Lanthanum–cerium oxide (LCO) films were deposited on Ni-5%W substrates by chemical solution deposition (CSD) from water-based precursors. LCO films containing different ratios of lanthanum and cerium ions (from CeO2 to La2Ce2O7) were prepared. The composition of the layers was optimized towards the formation of LCO buffer layers, lattice-matched with the superconducting YBa2Cu3Oy layer, useful for the development of coated conductors. Single, crack-free LCO layers with a thickness of up to 140 nm could be obtained in a single deposition step. The crystallinity and microstructure of these lattice-matched LCO layers were studied by X-ray diffraction techniques, RHEED and SEM. We find that only layers with thickness below 100 nm show a crystalline top surface although both thick and thin layers show good biaxial texture in XRD. On the most promising layers, AFM and (S)TEM were performed to further evaluate their morphology. The overall surface roughness varies between 3.9 and 7.5 nm, while the layers appear much more dense than the frequently used La2Zr2O7 (LZO) systems, showing much smaller nanovoids (1–2 nm) than the latter system. Their effective buffer layer action was studied using XPS. The thin LCO layers supported the growth of superconducting YBCO deposited using PLD methods.

Oct 28

Investigation of tunable buffer layers for coated superconductors:
from solid state physics to quantum chemistry

Authors: Danny E.P. Vanpoucke
Ph.D. Thesis at Ghent University, Belgium
date: October 5th, 2012
Promoters Prof. Dr. Isabel Van Driessche and Prof. Dr. Patrick Bultinck
#pages 218
export: bibtex
pdf: <PhD.Thesis>
research page with more information

Abstract

High temperature ceramic superconductors can be grown in layered structures on metallic wires to provide the mechanical flexibility required for industrial applications. To prevent the metal atoms of diffusing into the superconductor—destroying its superconductivity—buffer layers are grown between the metal substrate and the superconductor. Recently, cerium oxide has been used as such a buffer layer. However, the layer thickness of these buffer layers is limited by the formation of cracks during deposition. This behaviour has been linked to internal stress due to lattice mismatch and different thermal expansion coefficients of the substrate and the buffer layer. A simple way to reduce these mismatches is through metal doping.

In this work, we study the influence of dopants on the properties of cerium oxide through the use of ab initio calculations. Trends in the stability, lattice parameter, bulk modulus and thermal expansion coefficient of cerium oxide doped with different dopants are investigated. In addition, the influence of charge compensating oxygen vacancies is studied, and their role in the stability of heavily La-doped cerium oxide (La2Ce2O7) is presented. The use of dopants with different valences also leads to a modification of the charge distribution around the dopant sites. A way to have a more quantitative estimate of the charge transfer induced by dopants is via the introduction of the chemical concept of ‘atoms in a molecule’ into solids. This can be considered a first step in the direction of answering the experimental question: What is the charge of a given atom in a certain compound? In this work we present an implementation of this Hirshfeld method for solids, and calculate the atomic charges in doped cerium oxides.

Front cover of the PhD thesis.

Oct 28

Density functional theory study of La2Ce2O7: disordered fluorite vs pyrochlore structure

Authors: Danny E. P. Vanpoucke, Patrick Bultinck, Stefaan Cottenier, Veronique Van Speybroeck and Isabel Van Driessche,
Journal: Phys. Rev. B 84, 054110 (2011)
doi: 10.1103/PhysRevB.84.054110
IF(2011): 3.691
export: bibtex
pdf: <Phys.Rev.B.> <arXiv>

Abstract

The crystal structure of lanthanum cerium oxide (La2Ce2O7) is investigated using ab initio density functional theory calculations. The relative stability of fluorite- and pyrochlore-like structures is studied through comparison of their formation energies. These formation energies show the pyrochlore structure to be favored over the fluorite structure, apparently contradicting the conclusions based on experimental neutron and x-ray diffraction (XRD).
By calculating and comparing XRD spectra for a set of differently ordered and random structures, we show that the pyrochlore structure is consistent with diffraction experiments. For these reasons, we suggest the pyrochlore structure as the ground-state crystal structure for La2Ce2O7.