Effects of calcination on microscopic and mesoscopic structures in Ca- and Sr-doped nano-crystalline lanthanum chromites

Journal of Solid State Chemistry (Impact Factor: 2.04). 01/2011; 184(1):204-213. DOI: 10.1016/j.jssc.2010.11.006

ABSTRACT Calcination behavior of nano-crystalline lanthanum chromites doped with calcium and strontium has been probed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction and small-angle neutron scattering as a function of temperature. Infrared spectroscopic results imply that over a range of temperatures, some intermediate phase of dopant chromates evolve and then dissolve back, which has also been confirmed by the XRD. Neutron scattering data reveal a fractal type correlation of building blocks in virgin powders. Increase in fractal dimension and reduction in upper cutoff vis-à-vis the densification of agglomerates were found with increasing calcination temperature. Calcination, beyond 900 °C, results in breaking down of the fractal morphology almost completely. Such shrinkage event also results in a modification of the microscopic structure. These changes have been attributed to the compaction of agglomerates of both Ca- and Sr-doped lanthanum chromites, assisted via liquid state sintering by the melting of the intermediate phases at intermediate calcination stages.