Inexpensive Room Temperature Synthesis of High Quality Zirconia Powders for Materials Applications

Technology #30025

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Schematic diagrams showing the Zr02 45 nanocrystallites forming loose-aggregatesSchematic diagram showing the Zr02 nanocrystallites forming hard-aggregatesSchematic representation of the athermal nature of tetragonal to monoclinic phase transformation in nanocrystalline Zr02. The calcination temperature increases from (i) to (iii) represents the temperature range of 400-800° C
Sudipta Seal, Ph.D.
Satyajit Shukla
Managed By
Andrea Adkins
Assistant Director 407.823.0138
Patent Protection

Synthesis of tetragonal phase stabilized nano and submicron sized nanoparticles

US Patent 7,288,324 B1

Synthesis of tetragonal phase stabilized nano and submicron sized nanoparticles

US Patent 7,572,431 B2

Crystalline zirconia and method of synthesis

US Patent 7,758,977 B2

Synthesis of tetragonal phase stabilized nano and submicron sized nanoparticles

US Patent 7,595,036 B1

The invention is the first method which utilizes sol-gel processing techniques and a hydroxypropyl cellulose (HPC) polymer to generate nano and submicron sized zirconia powders which contain 100% tetragonal phase zirconium at room temperature.

Zirconium is a well-known structural ceramic, which exhibits a resistance to wear, abrasion, impact fracturing, corrosion, an ability to withstand high temperatures, and other highly desirable mechanical properties. Zirconium is at its strongest when it is metastabilized in a tetragonal state. If a sufficient amount of metastabile zirconium is present, it will convert to its monoclinic phase specifically at the site of a fracture. The conversion from the tetragonal to the monoclinic phase is associated with a volume expansion, which then compresses the fracture delaying the crack propagation and resisting subsequent fracture. In order to keep zirconium in its strongest tetragonal state at room temperature stabilizers must be incorporated. Traditional synthesis and stabilization methods are unable to produce zirconium in a 100% purely tetragonal phase, thereby reducing the chance the material will exhibit this “self healing” effect at the site of a fracture.

Technical Details

UCF scientists have discovered a method to generate such a material utilizing sol-gel techniques at room temperature. By incorporating this method materials manufacturers can produce zirconium of the highest quality for a significantly reduced price.


  • One-of-a-kind sol-gel method for creating 100% tetragonal phase nano and submicron sized zirconia powders at room temperatures
  • Inexpensive
  • Capable of producing high quality coatings at lower temperatures and in complex shapes


  • Composites
  • Catalyst supports
  • Membranes
  • Gas sensors
  • Nanocrystalline ceramic coatings

Additional Technology Numbers: 31026, 31196, 31456