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Issue 39, 2012
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Transformations in oxides induced by high-energy ball-milling

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This paper, by no means exhaustive, focuses on high-energy ball-milling of oxides, on their mechanically induced changes and on the consequences of such changes on their physical and chemical properties. High-energy ball-milling offers a fortunate combination of technical simplicity and of complexity both of physical mechanisms which act during milling and of mechanosynthesized materials. Its basic interest, which stems from the large diversity of routes it offers to prepare oxides either directly or indirectly, is illustrated with various families of oxides. The direct path is to be favoured when as-milled oxides are of interest per se because of their nanocrystalline characteristics, their defects or their modified structures which result from mechanically driven phase transformations. The indirect path consists of a sequence of steps starting with mechanically activated oxides which may be subsequently just annealed or submitted to a combination of thermal treatments, with the possible occurrence of various chemical reactions, to prepare the sought-after materials with potential gains in processing temperatures and times. High energy ball-milling of oxides is more and more currently used to activate powders and to prepare nano-oxides at moderate temperatures. The interest of an activation step is well illustrated by the broad development of doped titania powders, synthesized by heat treatment of pre-ground reactants, for photocatalytic applications or to develop antibacterial materials. Another important class of applications of high-energy ball-milling is the formation of composites. It is exemplified here with the case of oxide-dispersed strengthened alloys whose properties are considerably improved by a dispersion of ultra-stable nanosized oxides whose formation mechanisms were recently described. The basic understanding of the mechanisms by which oxides or oxide mixtures evolve by high-energy ball-milling appears to be less advanced than it is for metallic materials essentially because of the overall complexity of the oxide structures, of their surfaces, of their defects and of their mechanical behavior.

Graphical abstract: Transformations in oxides induced by high-energy ball-milling

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Article information

15 Feb 2012
18 Jul 2012
First published
08 Aug 2012

Dalton Trans., 2012,41, 11927-11948
Article type

Transformations in oxides induced by high-energy ball-milling

V. Šepelák, S. Bégin-Colin and G. Le Caër, Dalton Trans., 2012, 41, 11927
DOI: 10.1039/C2DT30349C

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