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We report the decomposition of La2-xSrxCuO4 into La2O3 and Cu nanoparticles in ultrahigh vacuum, observed by in situ heating experiments in a transmission electron microscope. The analysis of electron diffraction data reveals that the phase decomposition process starts at about 150 °C and is considerably expedited in the temperature range of 350 °C-450 °C. Two major resultant solid phases are identified as metallic Cu and La2O3 by electron diffraction, simulation, and electron energy-loss spectroscopy (EELS) analyses. With the aid of calculations, La2O3 phases are further identified to be derivatives of a fluorite structure - fluorite, pyrochlore, and (distorted) bixbyite - characterized by different oxygen-vacancy order. Additionally, the bulk plasmon energy and the fine structures of the O K and LaM4,5 EELS edges are reported for these structures, along with simulated O K x-ray absorption near-edge structure. The resultant Cu nanoparticles and La2O3 phases remain unchanged after cooling to room temperature.
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- 4 Finished
11/1/14 → 9/30/21
Project: Research project