Does local disorder occur in the pyrochlore zirconates?

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American Chemical Socity
The zirconates Ln2Zr2O7 (Ln = lanthanoid) have been studied using a combination of Zr L-edge X-ray absorption near edge structure (XANES) and synchrotron X-ray and neutron powder diffraction methods. These studies demonstrate that as the size of the lanthanoid cation decreases, the local structure evolves smoothly from the ideal pyrochlore toward the defect fluorite rather than undergoing an abrupt transformation. The Zr L-edge spectrum is found to be extremely sensitive to changes in the local coordination environment and demonstrates an increase in local disorder across the pyrochlore oxides. The sensitivity of the XANES measurements enables us to identify the progressive nature of the transition that could not be detected using bulk diffraction techniques. © 2012, American Chemical Society.
X-ray lasers, Raman spectroscopy, Fluorite, Cerium oxides, Zirconium oxides, Neutron diffraction
Blanchard, P. E. R., Clements, R., Kennedy, B. J., Ling, C. D., Reynolds, E., Avdeev, M., Stampfl, A. P. J., Zhang, Z. M., & Jang, L. Y. (2012). Does local disorder occur in the pyrochlore zirconates?. Inorganic Chemistry, 51(24), 13237-13244. doi:10.1021/ic301677b