Coherent 3D nanostructure of γ-Al2O3: Simulation of whole X-ray powder diffraction pattern

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The structure and nanostructure features of nanocrystalline γ-Al2O3 obtained by dehydration of boehmite with anisotropic platelet-shaped particles were investigated. The original models of 3D coherent nanostructure of γ-Al2O3 were constructed. The models of nanostructured γ-Al2O3 particles were first confirmed by a direct simulation of powder X–Ray diffraction (XRD) patterns using the Debye Scattering Equation (DSE) with assistance of high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM) study. The average crystal structure of γ-Al2O3 was shown to be tetragonally distorted. The experimental results revealed that thin γ-Al2O3 platelets were heterogeneous on a nanometer scale and nanometer-sized building blocks were separated by partially coherent interfaces. The XRD simulation results showed that a specific packing of the primary crystalline blocks in the nanostructured γ-Al2O3 particles with formation of planar defects on {001}, {100}, and {101} planes nicely accounted for pronounced diffuse scattering, anisotropic peak broadening and peak shifts in the experimental XRD pattern. The identified planar defects in cation sublattice seem to be described as filling cation non-spinel sites in existing crystallographic models of γ-Al2O3 structure. The overall findings provided an insight into the complex nanostructure, which is intrinsic to the metastable γ-Al2O3 oxide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-292
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Solid State Chemistry
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017


  • 3D nanostructure
  • Debye Scattering Equation
  • Gamma-alumina
  • Planar defects
  • XRD


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