The combined effect of surfactants (PVP/CTAB) and alkaline mineralizers (NaOH/NH4OH) on dielectric properties of zirconia nanocrystals is analyzed. It is found that, the stabilization of zirconia tetramers by surfactants and the rate of hydroxyl ions released by alkaline mineralizers have significant impact on the dielectric properties of nanocrystals. The PVP capped tetramers form highly conducting grains with insulating boundaries, whereas the grains of CTAB capped tetramers are highly insulating with conducting grain boundaries, as revealed by Nyquist plots. Consequently, the space charge polarization would be quite large in highly conducting grains resulting in higher dielectric constant values at lower frequencies. The higher dielectric constant of PVP capped nanocrystals is due to greater tetragonal coordination of 3d5/2 and 3d3/2 electrons of Zr4+ ions than that of CTAB capped nanocrystals. Further, the surface oxygen vacancies of PVP samples are higher, resulting in a high space charge polarization. The ESR signal corresponding to F+ centers appears stronger for PVP/NH4OH nanocrystals. Moreover, the larger ESR line width of PVP/NH4OH nanocrystals corresponding to more oxygen vacancies is in accordance with the inference attained from the XPS analysis.
U. Maheswari A, Mohan, S., and Dr. Sivakumar M., “Effect of Surfactant and Mineralizer on the Dielectric Properties of Zirconia Nanocrsytals”, Applied Surface Science, vol. 427, pp. 1174-1182, 2017.