An IR and XPS spectroscopy assesment of the physico-chemical surface properties of alumina-YAG nanopowders
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Well-dispersed nano-crystalline transition alumina suspensions were mixed with yttrium chloride aqueous solutions, with the aim of producing by spray-drying Al2O3–Y3Al5O12 (YAG) composite powders of increasing YAG vol.%. Two samples were prepared, with different Y content, corresponding to 5 and 20 YAG vol.%, respectively. Both samples were then treated at either 600 or 1150 °C. The obtained powders were characterized by X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS), Fourier Transform Infra Red (FT-IR) spectroscopy and compared to three reference samples: commercial nano-crystalline transition alumina, YAG and Y2O3. YAG powders were obtained by co-precipitation route whereas Y2O3 powders were yielded by spray-drying of a yttrium chloride aqueous solution. Modification of physico-chemical properties of the surface of alumina nanoparticles were assessed by combining XPS and FT-IR spectroscopies. On the basis of the results obtained, a possible model is proposed for the structure of the obtained composites, in which Y basically reacts with more acidic hydroxyls of alumina, by forming Y-rich surface grains, the extension of which depends on the thermal treatment.