Surface energies and thermodynamic phase stability in nanocrystalline aluminas

J. M. McHale, A. Auroux, A. J. Perrotta, A. Navrotsky

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819 Scopus citations


Corundum, α-AI2O3, is the thermodynamically stable phase of coarsely crystalline aluminum oxide, but syntheses of nanocrystalline AI2O3 usually result in γ-AI2O3. Adsorption microcalorimetry, thermogravimetric analyses, and Brunauer-Emmett-Teller adsorption experiments, coupled with recently reported high-temperature solution calorimetry data, prove that γ- AI2O3 has a lower surface energy than α-AI2O3 and becomes energetically stable at surface areas greater than 125 square meters per gram and thermodynamically stable at even smaller surface areas (for example, 75 square meters per gram at 800 kelvin). The results are in agreement with recent molecular dynamics simulations and provide conclusive experimental evidence that differences in surface energy can favor the formation of a particular polymorph.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)788-789
Number of pages2
Issue number5327
StatePublished - Aug 8 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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