Growth, texture evolution and microstructure dependency of solution derived Gd2Zr2O7 films deposited on textured Ni-5 at.%W substrates have been extensively studied. Influence of processing parameters, in particular annealing temperature and dwell time, as well as thickness effect on film texture and morphology are investigated in details. It is found that a rotated cube-on-cube epitaxy of Gd2Zr2O7<110>//NiW in-plane texture forms as soon as the (004) out-plane texture appears, implying that epitaxial growth dominates the crystallization processes. Thermal energy plays an important role in minimizing the difference of interfacial energy along two directions in the anisotropic metallic substrate. Growth of Gd2Zr2O7 films displays an ultrafast kinetics under optimized conditions. Independency of sharp epitaxial (004) and polycrystalline (222) orientation is revealed from further synchrotron diffraction studies. Fully covered films with a broad thickness range exhibit a high degree of biaxial orientation, similar surface morphology with crack free and nano-size grains microstructure, seemingly independent of neither heat treatment nor thickness. Particularly, we compared the porosity of the film surface and body according to surface or cross-sectional observation and Rutherford Backscattering Spectrometry analysis, pointing to inhomogeneous structure through film thickness, i.e., dense in the surface layer but porous in the body. This is attributed to trapped gas generated during either decomposition or crystallization in the thicker films. This work not only demonstrates a route for producing textured Gd2Zr2O7 buffer layers with dense structure directly on technical substrates, but also provides some fundamental understandings related to chemical solution derived films grown on metallic substrates.
- Materials characterization and modelling