Pressure induced increase of particle size and resulting weakening of elastic stiffness of CeO2 nanocrystals

Zhongwu Wang; Yusheng Zhao; Schiferl, David; Zha, C.S.; Downs, Robert T.
July 2004
Applied Physics Letters;7/5/2004, Vol. 85 Issue 1, p124
Academic Journal
We demonstrate that the compressibility of cubic fluorite-structure CeO2 nanocrystals (10 nm) increases at pressures above ∼20 GPa. At ambient pressure, CeO2 nanocrystals exhibit larger cell parameters than micro-sized samples, and initially exhibit a higher bulk modulus of 328(12) GPa. However, above 20 GPa, the bulk modulus is reduced to 230(10) GPa. Thus, a critical pressure of ∼20 GPa was determined that signifies the onset of size-induced weakening of elastic stiffness in nanocrystalline CeO2. Comparison of the x-ray diffraction peaks widths between the platinum standard and CeO2 indicates that a significant increase of particle size in CeO2 appears at a pressure of ∼20 GPa. It is suggested that the initial large value of the bulk modulus is a result of either an enhanced surface energy or from the pressure induced stiffness of Young’s modulus (E) and Poisson’s ratio (μ); while the weakening of the elastic stiffness above 20 GPa is due to a pressure-induced increase of particle size.


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