Phase stability of zirconium oxide films during focused ion beam milling

Felicity Baxter, Alistair Garner, Matthew Topping, Helen Hulme, Michael Preuss, Philipp Frankel

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    Focused ion beam (FIB) is a widely used technique for preparation of electron transparent samples and so it is vital to understand the potential for introduction of FIB-induced microstructural artefacts. The bombardment of both Xe+ and Ga+ ions is observed to cause extensive monoclinic to tetragonal phase transformation in ZrO2 corrosion films, however, this effect is diminished with reduced energy and is not observed below 5 KeV. This study emphasises the importance of careful FIB sample preparation with a low energy cleaning step, and also gives insight into the stabilisation mechanism of the tetragonal phase during oxidation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)176-180
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
    Early online date26 Mar 2018
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


    • Zirconium oxide
    • corrosion
    • Focused ion beam (FIB)
    • Transmission electron microscopy (TEM)
    • Electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD)


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