Defect ordering in aliovalently doped cubic zirconia from first principles

A. Bogicevic, C. Wolverton, G. M. Crosbie, E. B. Stechel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

158 Scopus citations


Defect ordering in aliovalently doped cubic-stabilized zirconia is studied using gradient corrected density-functional calculations. Intra- and intersublattice ordering interactions are investigated for both cation (Zr and dopant ions) and anion (oxygen ions and vacancies) species. For yttria-stabilized zirconia, the crystal structure of the experimentally identified, ordered compound (formula presented) is established, and we predict metastable zirconia-rich ordered phases. Anion vacancies repel each other at short separations, but show an energetic tendency to align as third-nearest neighbors along (formula presented) directions. Calculations with divalent (Be, Mg, Ca, Sr, Ba) and trivalent (Y, Sc, B, Al, Ga, In) oxides show that anion vacancies prefer to be close to the smaller of the cations (Zr or dopant ion). When the dopant cation is close in size to Zr, the vacancies show no particular preference, and are thus less prone to be bound preferentially to any particular cation type when the vacancies traverse such oxides. This ordering tendency offers insight into the observed high conductivity of (formula presented) and (formula presented)-stabilized zirconia, as well as recent results using, e.g., lanthanide oxides. The calculations point to (formula presented) as a particularly promising stabilizer for high ionic conductivity. Thus we are able to directly link (thermodynamic) defect ordering to (kinetic) ionic conductivity in cubic-stabilized zirconia using first-principles atomistic calculations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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